As a general rule, if your electronic message looks like spam people will presume that it is. This can have an immediate impact on your reputation with a potential customer.
As you know, people are increasingly conscious of the potential dangers of electronic marketing, and carefully consider the messages they receive. As touched on above, you need to consider what else is going into a person’s inbox alongside your message. Following the key obligations of the Spam Act (being consent, sender ID and unsubscribe) can go a long way to appeasing the wary recipient, but it can also help to contemplate:
- How does your message look to the recipient?
- Will your formatting and images work for everyone? If it doesn’t, how would the message look?
- What about your spelling and grammar? Poor spelling and grammar is often used by recipients to identify spam scams.
- What is the sender address and does it reflect your business? How about the subject line?
- Is it clear that you are a business? The purpose of your message should also be clear.
- How often are you sending messages? Would you get a higher response rate if you sent messages less frequently, for example, only when you have a special offer?
- What information are you requesting from the recipient? Do you have a clear policy reflecting what your business will not request from a subscriber via electronic message?
- Most importantly, consider your message as if it was something coming into your inbox – would you be prepared to open it based only on the sender details? Would you click on a link? Would you start a process in the message that will end up with you providing your credit card details?
Here are some further examples of comments made to the ACMA:
An unsolicited commercial email was sent to the email address on my website. This email is an alias, and is not used for sending emails at all - so it can only have been trawled from the website.
This restaurant has presumably purchased an email list and is sending spam attempting to generate interest. My business has received 92 such emails to date, and I have confirmed that they were entirely unsolicited by the recipients.My complaint relates to their assumption that they can use the sending of spam as a legitimate business strategy.
Several days after placing an order through this company, I received a call asking if I would like to receive newsletters or updates. I declined. However, I soon started receiving these newsletters via email. I unsubscribed using the included link but the "subscription" remained. I have now attempted to unsubscribe again but "an error has occurred".
Remember - Your success is based on your reputation with your customers. The quality of your reputation (and that of your industry) is in your hands.