August 13, 2020 Kate Neale

I Have Your Email – Are We In A Relationship?

Spam email is fake marketingPlease cease and desist. That’s the message that anyone with an inbox and the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority (the body that regulates email marketing campaign laws in Australia), would like to be received by those engaged in ‘fake marketing’ in the guise of sending email to their indiscriminate data base of recipients.

Although spamming has been around a long time with evolving methodologies, the fundamental flaws in it’s rationale have never been more significant. There’s never been potentially less efficacy in its use because abusing the privilege of access to an inbox in the name of promotion, is not spamming – it’s fake marketing!

There’s a lot of hypothetical marketing experts encouraging businesses to collect email addresses and a lot of websites randomly collecting visitors email addresses in sign-up boxes. They’re creating a database with the expectation it can be emailed at the discretion of the business. They mistakenly believe if the visitor opts in, it gives them legal entitlement to email at will! But fines for not complying with email marketing campaign laws can be very expensive!

I caution those blindly following the indiscriminate email collection process and recommend they read this article about email marketing campaign laws Australia by lawyers Holding Redlich. It explains the realities of compliance and the legal and financial consequences of not complying with the Spam Act 2003. It’s best read by those who bear responsibility for such things because ignorance is no defense if you’re breaking the law. Also because indiscriminate emailing is frankly disrespecting the privilege of having the email address and that’s just not good marketing practice.

Spamalot?Monty Python spam skit image

The first documented case of ‘spamming’ occurred in 1978, likely long before many of the current misguided culprits were born. Few spammers today would have even a faint knowledge of how Monty Python’s Spam skit from 1970 pertains to the origins of the word as it applies to email. Essentially it consists of a cafe proprietor repeatedly offering the customer various iterations of a spam dominated menu, much to the resistance, protest and rejection of the customer! Clearly what he was offering was not desired by the customer and clearly he did not care what the customer wanted.

Although there were other examples of spamming in between, it wasn’t until 1994 that the first deliberate mass commercial posting by lawyers Cantor and Seigal was commonly referred to as spam. They had their ad spruiking their services in relation to the Green Card lottery, posted to every (several thousand) message boards on USENET. At the time USENET was the world’s largest online conferencing system. Everyone got the ad, but as it was irrelevant to the recipients, it wasn’t wanted, it had no value.

Emails Ain’t Emails

There are a few hurdles in getting an email campaign right to make it effective. We obviously start with the credibility and validity of the database of recipients being almost exclusively qualified prospects. Getting better qualified prospects can be as simple as asking a question at time of them providing their details, for instance if your business is in health eg. Are you seeking information to improve your virility? The process of qualifying the prospects should give some indication to a strong Subject line and the content of the promotion email. Spamming email with uninspired content is the double death.

In 2020, Mailchimp can only go so far. Next you’ll need some clever martech tools to execute your campaign efficiently and effectively eg. Salesforce, Martek and Hubspot come to mind. Ensure deliverability with dedicated, trusted or shared IP’s, email authentication, campaign monitoring and market analytics. You’ll need bounce handling, whitelisting, reputation management, receiver and ISP relations, DNS and email routing facilities to ensure your mail gets past the scrutiny of host servers and spam filters.

Once you get delivered to the target inbox, being received with enthusiasm is the objective, but reachng this goal should have begun before the email lands.

IYour email should be welcomen 2020 You Need More Than Reach, You Need Relationship

There is no great challenge or achievement in having a promotional email found by a random recipient. Indeed a recent Marketo email benchmarking report extols average industry inbox delivery (rather than Spam or Promotions box) rates of between 81-91% subject to the industry marked, with exceptional hard and soft bounce rates of 2-5% respectively. The address is correct and the email beat the spam filters, but how many of those recipients actually want those emails?

The challenge is being enthusiastically found by the owners of the inbox you want to be in; it’s in stimulating a desire for what you’re selling and motivating action so they engage with you. The challenge is to know them, to reach them and be timely, relevant and valued by them.

Fake marketing is not a symptom of low resources. It stems from being either ignorant of what your market wants and where they are, or from the lack of strategic or creative thinking. If you’re going to email everyone, you better be offering something everyone wants, when, where and how they want it, otherwise you’re just an intrusion, an invader, an undesirable infiltrator of private space!

So for those engaged in fake marketing, please stop it. Stop intruding on our lives with your irrelevant and undesirable offers. Find the people who really want what you’re offering and build a genuine relationship with them. A good deal of research, a genuine strategy and tactics that are appreciated by your customer, will deliver far better results than spam.

If you would like to know how to reach your customers and build relationship with them, contact Wanted Consulting – Reward Offered.

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