Email Marketing Etiquette for the Business Owner

by golda on January 26, 2012

Email Marketing Etiquette for the Business Owner

By Golda Smith

 
Etiquette…we talk about it all the time. One dictionary defines it as the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other. There’s an acceptable code of behavior for just about everything yet, there are clear violations every day. Let’s take email marketing for example.
 
Do you have a cluttered inbox full of crap that you have no intention of reading…SPAM. What about emails with no subject lines or those that make it dam near impossible to unsubscribe. Yes! We’re talking about email marketing etiquette because if you’re building a business whether on or offline, email marketing should be part of your strategy and if it is then you need to take notes.
 

Email Marketing Etiquette Tip #1- Build organically

When you’re starting to build your list, it may be very tempting to purchase a list just to give you a jump start in your marketing. However, what you’re purchasing is a bunch of names. Who knows how current that list is? You’d be better off generating your own leads of people who are sincerely interested in what you have to offer.
 
Give people a reason to give up their email address. Never ever, not ever should you manually add people to your list. Big NO, NO. If you are changing services, you should send an email to your current list letting them know that you’re moving to a new service provider and that you’d like to continue to build your relationship with them. Invite them to join your new list. You want their permission. Some will and some won’t…don’t get emotionally attached to the outcome.

Email Marketing Etiquette Tip #2- Don’t be sloppy

Everyone makes mistakes! You have…I have. You hit the send button one second to soon and realize that you didn’t mean to. That’s not what I’m talking about. If you are constantly sending emails that contain misspelled words and other grammatical errors then you come off as being unprofessional and not really caring about your brand. With that being said, it may be a great idea to send youself a test email before sending it out into cyber space. You may be surprised at the mistakes you’re able to catch by doing that.

Email Marketing Etiquette Tip #3- Don’t hold them hostage

By law, you MUST have an unsubscribe link in each email and e-newsletter that you send to your list. You need to make it easy for someone to say goodbye and remove themselves from your list. Has this ever happened to you? You click the unsubscribe link only to get the run around. I have and it’s not fun. It makes the list owner seem like a clue less spammer.
 

Email Marketing Etiquette Tip #4- Identify yourself

This is not the time to play hide and go seek. Don’t ever use an anonymous sender.When you are setting up your email marketing list; be sure to complete every field. The “from field” should have your name, first and last. People want to do business with real people and when you include your name, even if you’re operating as a business, it seems more personal.  
 
The same goes for having a personal greeting when people initially opt into your list or when they unsubscribe. Many people unsubscribe because they can’t remember who you are or why they got on your list in the first place. However, by putting your name and if you can, a photo, they may think twice about removing themselves from your list.
 

Email Marketing Etiquette Tip #5- Protect your list

I hate pimps and if you hang around the internet long enough, you’ll meet a few. They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones that are constantly marketing every one’s “latest and greatest MUST have gadget that’s guaranteed to totally revolutionize your business” to their list. I remember getting those emails. After a while I would stop opening emails from those senders and eventually unsubscribed from their lists.
 
It shows a complete lack of respect for your readers intelligence, but that‘s just my humble opinion. When someone is gracious enough to trust you with their email address, even if they never check that account, your job is to protect and serve. Guard it with your life; you’ll be glad you did.
 
I’m sure that there are several more points that we could have mentioned but this is a great start. Take care of your list and they will take care of you. They will look forward to your content and when you are ready to market, you’ll have eager ready buyers. 
 
What are some of your email marketing etiquette tips? Stop by my page and share, we'd love to know.
 
 
 
 
Golda Smith is a single mom who is building her "Business From The Kitchen Table" working with entrepreneurs to support them in the tasks that hold their businesses together. Are you on Twitter? Get your checklist, now. Don't tweet without this!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chanel January 28, 2012 at 12:03 am

You are so right about this Golda! I think a lot of people are abusive when it comes to email marketing. They just tend to sell out products that they are not so sure of if it'll work or not. Pushing out good content is indeed a must!

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2 Leonard Evenson May 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

This was a great topic for an article. I think we should pay more attention to online etiquette whether in emails, on social media, or when using instant messaging services. I will surely share this article with my staff and partners, this information should be more widespread.
Thanks for providing us with such great articles,

Leonard

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