As we move closer to a time when consumer spam complaints will weigh heaviest on a marketers' deliverability and ROI, successful firms will increase their focus on making sure that every e-mail they send is relevant, valuable, welcomed and wanted by its recipients.
To survive and thrive in the next phase of e-mail marketing, keep these two core principles in mind:
- How you give notice trumps how you get permission. Getting consumers' permission is meaningless unless you are clear about what they are agreeing to when they sign up. At a recent industry conference, AOL's postmaster, Charles Stiles, told attendees, “I don't care if they triple opted-in and gave you their credit card number.” He drew chuckles, but made his point loud and clear: Opt-in is meaningless if consumers subsequently click the “Report Spam” button.
- Relevancy rules. There are no “throw away” communications in the e-mail world, where consumers provide immediate and constant feedback about what they think of your programs to their ISPs. Before clicking send, always ask yourself, “Is the individual recipient I'm sending this to going to find it valuable?” And while you're at it, “Would I be happy to receive this message.”