Most people see spam as simply receiving email from someone that is trying to sell them something, regardless of whether they know the sender or not. What this means is that even if you have a loyal customer base that you want to send out a sales pitch to, most of those customers will still consider you a spammer.
But don’t let that scare you away from email newsletter marketing. Opt-in list statistics continue to grow every year and newsletters can be a very cost effective way to reach your customer base en masse, if you can avoid making the common mistake make of not having your subscribers opt-in.
If you want to avoid getting backhanded across the chops with the Can Spam Act, it is imperative that you offer an opt-in list for your subscribers. Every one of your subscribers has to have indicated in some form that “Yes, I want to receive your newsletter”. This can be achieved through an online form or check box, or for example, through a survey sent through the mail. Regardless, you have to have proof that your subscribers have voluntarily signed up for your newsletter.
Don’t assume either. Ensure that your opt-in option is clearly indicated and also make sure to include in your newsletter an option for people to unsubscribe at any time. Once someone has unsubscribed, they need to be removed from your list to avoid potential accusations of abuse.
If you have more than one newsletter it is also a good idea to have separate opt-in lists for each type of newsletter. For example, you may have a newsletter strictly for sales pitches and another for news. Not everyone will necessarily want to receive both items in their inbox, so allowing them to pick and choose not only helps keep your subscribers happy in avoiding unsolicited email, but it also helps define your newsletter demographics.
The Double Opt-In: If you’re really paranoid about Big Brother following you through an alleyway and giving you a beat down with a sack full of lunch meat, you can protect yourself even further with a double opt-in. After someone signs up for your newsletter through the website for example, an email can be sent to the new subscriber’s e-mail address containing a confirmation link that activates the second opt-in.
Double opt-ins help ensure that your subscribers are authentic and genuinely interested in your service. With a single opt-in, any random royal hobo of Nigerian descent can sign up his entire tribe of hobo friends who couldn’t care less about your service. You can see where malicious intent by a third party could easily get you into some hot water. Also, you still have you pay for every address you send to, so those fraudulent subscriptions can add up fast. Not only will a double opt-in keep the haters out, but you also gain highly targeted consumers.
Now that you know how to avoid being squashed by spam laws like George “The Animal” Steele, contact Point Click Media to start accumulating those targeted subscribers properly and pumping out your own newsletters.
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