6 Ways to Gain Consumer Confidence With Permission-Based E-Marketing Campaigns
In its recent whitepaper, Mailing With Permission, e-mail software and service provider Lyris Technologies breaks down the various aspects of permission-based marketing, from subscription processes to the expectations you should establish for your customers to privacy regulations. Here are six of the whitepaper’s do’s and don’ts for creating a successful permission-based marketing campaign.
1. Require double opt-in.
As the most ethical subscription standard, double opt-in requires prospective members to confirm their memberships before receiving your next mailing, protecting them from receiving mail they didn’t sign up for. And it’s beneficial to marketers as well. Consumers who confirm their subscriptions are most likely to remember it when they receive your e-mail, making it less likely they’ll report the message as spam, the whitepaper says. Some more benefits to the double opt-in subscription process include the following:
* it builds an audience that truly wants to hear from you;
* it increases mailing delivery rates;
* it keeps your list clean;
* it maintains good ISP relations; and
* it increases response rates.
2. Make it easy to unsubscribe.
Permission-based e-mail lists aren’t permanent. Allowing members to remove themselves from your list quickly and easily will maintain the trust you previously established with them. All the while, it leaves a positive feeling, making it more likely that some of them will resubscribe at a later date, the whitepaper says. Include a one- or two-click unsubscribe function in the footer of each message to show your customers you’re an ethical marketer. This also helps to differentiate yourself from truly unsolicited e-mail while you’re complying with the law.
3. Avoid renting lists.
Sending e-mails to acquired lists may appear attractive with the promise of additional leads or sales, but it also generates anger and ill will from recipients who see your message as no different from all of the other spam they receive, the whitepaper points out. An alternative to renting or purchasing lists is to advertise on another Web site. Include a clear call to action, such as “Join our list for special savings.” This approach may help you add a small net increase in names, but you’ll be far more assured these people actually want to hear from you.
4. Promise and then deliver.
In your sign-up form, describe what your customers will receive. Be specific! With vague promises of “news and special offers,” it’s up to each customer to decide what the e-mail announcements will or won’t include. By not setting clear expectations or meeting those that are set, marketers inadvertently cause people to delete their messages, unsubscribe from their lists and/or tag their mail as spam, the whitepaper says.
Include in your sign-up form brief text that describes the topics covered or type of content sent, the e-mail formats offered, and the mailing frequency. Indicate that customers will receive “a weekly HTML alert of special, time-limited offers,” for example. To further illustrate your plans, link to previous mailings or samples of the type of content you distribute.
5. Be respectful.
Whether you use it internally, share it with selected affiliates or offer it to list brokers, let people know what they can expect. Make prospective list members aware that they can unsubscribe from your list — or be removed from your database or otherwise stop receiving communications from you — any time they want. CAN-SPAM legislation requires such unsubscribe instructions to be included within messages. But by explaining this up front before people submit their personal information, you build additional good will and trust.
6. Determine customer preferences.
Offer subscribers a choice of what they want to receive and how often, especially if you have a wide range of offers to promote or a very aggressive mailing schedule, the whitepaper advises. Then segment your list to send specific content to the subscribers who’ve requested it. This helps prevent list burnout and shows your list members that you recognize their personal interests.
To download the whitepaper, click on the following link: http://forms.lyris.com/mailing_with_permission .