Ignorance is no excuse. Steps you can take to protect yourself against dubious e-mail list vendors and service providers. Last of a two-part series.
In my last column I presented a real-life case study about an organization that discovered:
We could talk about the definition of spam, how this type of email hurts the a brand’s (in this case, the political candidate’s) credibility, and why Seth Godin’s mantra of "anticipated, personal, and relevant" is still the best way to conduct email marketing. But I want to go a different direction. Today, I’ll examine the business issues raised by situations like this one.
No matter where you fall on spam issues, you have to question whether this email campaign was a good business investment for the organization. Reasonable questions to ask in this case include:
Want to factor the email’s results into your decision about whether this was a sound business investment? Unfortunately, they won’t be much help. The email’s primary call to action -- go to the polls and vote for our candidates -- isn’t one that can be directly measured from the email send. Metrics provided to the organization show a 43 percent open rate and a 2 percent CTR (define), although it’s uncertain whether these are based on total or unique opens and clicks.
So was this email campaign good campaign business? How would you feel if you found yourself in this position? It’s probably not something you’d want to experience firsthand. Here are some tips you can use, whether you’re a political campaign, an association, or a regular for-profit enterprise, to keep yourself and your organization out of these types of situations.
The email list rental market, especially in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space, can be a minefield. You can’t work on faith and hope the people you’re dealing with are being straight with you. "Trust, with verification" is definitely the approach to take. Some best practices:
Educate yourself. Reading ClickZ on a regular basis is a good start. Take advantage of the many free email newsletters out there about email marketing. If you can, attend a few paid Webinars or conferences. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.
Are there other steps your organization is taking to safeguard against these types of situations? See the "send feedback" link below? You can use it to start a dialogue with me and other readers. I encourage you to do so!
Until next time,
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
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Jeanne Jennings is a 20 year veteran of the online/email marketing industry, having started her career with CompuServe in the late 1980s. As Vice President of Global Strategic Services for Alchemy Worx, Jennings helps organizations become more effective and more profitable online. Previously Jennings ran her own email marketing consultancy with a focus on strategy; clients included AARP, Hasbro, Scholastic, Verizon and Weight Watchers International. Want to learn more? Check out her blog.
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