By Carrie-ann | May 03, 2017 | Email marketing

How to avoid annoying your email list

Email marketing allows a business to communicate with its customers by sending commercial messages direct to their email inbox. In the short-term, this can provide a growth in sales and profits, although there is a fine line between creating a deeper relationship with your customers and annoying them.

What is spam?
Spam is a term that’s used to describe an electronic message that’s been sent to a large number of recipients indiscriminately. Spamming is considered one of the worst things you can do when conducting an internet marketing campaign. A message can be considered spam if it the majority of the recipients have no use for the information inside it or find it annoying.
Important: Most email providers now have a dedicated spam folder, where messages that recipients don’t want to see get sent to.
Did you know: the first known spam electronic message was sent in 1988, and was entitled ‘Make Money Fast’.
How to avoid spamming and spam filters
* Don’t assume you have permission to email your customers. Make sure the recipient has signed up to receive promotional material and agreed to your emails.
* Set expectations when people join your email list. If you send out a promotional email every week or a newsletter every month make this clear to your customers at the start.
* Don’t wait too long before contacting your subscribers. Mailing lists can go stale if not used regularly.
* Treat your email promotions as extensions of your brand, store or website. Make sure your emails have the same look and feel as your brand, so as not to alienate customers.
* Don’t hide unsubscribe or opt-out links. These should be easily available to recipients who no longer want your emails. Being unable to unsubscribe to your promotions may anger your customers and make them unlikely to return to your product in the future.
Remember: Sending spam mail is a criminal offence and carries a fine of up to £5000.

How to run a successful email campaign
First of all, you need to build up your email list. It’s best to do this by offering your customers freebies and giveaways. By giving a genuine incentive, you should be able to grow your electronic customer base quickly.
Focus on being helpful and users will start to welcome your emails when they appear in their inbox. Provide useful information, promotions and links in your emails and you’ll find subscribers will come back to your business for more. This is a great way to build up loyalty in your brand.

How to keep subscribers
Keep things fresh and ensure your emails stay interesting. The moment they become uninteresting is the moment they start becoming spam. Do not use the same template over and over again, as this will turn off your subscribers.
Always be transparent and honest. You will lose customers if they feel like they have been tricked or duped into clicking a link or promotion.
Try this: When choosing what to put into your email campaigns, try putting yourself in your subscribers’ shoes. Think about what you like and don’t like in promotional emails. Also mimic, without directly copying, your favourite email subscriptions.