You can avoid being considered an unethical email marketer by simply using permission based email marketing. Email marketing is a very popular form of online marketing and is used by most if not all successful internet marketers. However, because there have been some shady and unethical marketers, both online and offline, email marketing has been subjected to the same kind of ethical questions. The ethical marketers provide you with opt-in forms that allow you the subscriber to say “hey please market to me. I like what you have to offer.” Then you have the unethical ones that use software to gather email information and blindly send out their promos to any and every one that has an email address.
The problem with the latter is that these marketers don’t look at the long term investment when it comes to marketing. I mean sure you may get a surge of sales, but if you really take the time to market wisely to your list you can create long term customers, turning your email list to be very profitable. These long term, repeat customers can even become evangelist of your products which can help you profit even more because they will run and tell everyone how great your service and/or product is. Because repeat customers can be so smart marketers are intensely focused on long-term potential of this type of marketing.
Are Your Email Marketing Efforts Spam?
There are a few ways to tell if your email marketing efforts could be considered spam. Firstly are you sending lots of emails to lots of people who you never had any contact with, or did not opt-in to be contacted by you? This is definitely considered spam. Some people feel that marketing is a numbers game and the more people you put the information in front of the higher the probability of getting a sale. But your probability of making a sale gets higher if you send targeted email to those that want and need your product or service. These are the ones that have taken the time to complete the form your site.
To avoid your email marketing efforts to be considered spam (and then banned and now you cannot send emails to anyone) only email those that have given you permission to contact them. This is called “permission marketing” a termed coined by Seth Godin. Also once subscribers have opted-in to your email list please be sure to provide value in each email that you send. You can do this by offering tips and/or advice on the topic your subscribers have requested. Remember you have an obligation to provide value to your prospective customers before you expect it from them.
Why Permission Marketing is Best
Permission based marketing is the best because marketing is about trust, and permission is the basis of all trust. If I didn’t give you permission to have my email address why would I trust you, or what your product has to offer. I will simply delete the offer or even worst, mark you as spam.
If your email marketing is spammy, every transaction is temporary and short-term. Your customers never stay and you constantly have to market to a new audience. However if your email marketing is based on permission customers appear and keep appearing. As both a long-term marketing platform and a low-maintenance marketing method, permission email marketing provides more results, less work, and greater returns for your business than any unethical approach can provide.