With the new year already started, many companies have new email marketing strategies to implement. However, not all of these strategies are created equal – and some are much better than others. One key element to consider is the permission model, in which companies ask users for permission before sending them marketing emails. Although it is widely accepted that permission-based email marketing is the best strategy to gain individual user consent, it may not be the most effective (or even legal) way to gain audience consent.
Why should you implement a permission-based email marketing strategy? Here are just a few reasons:
To Gain Valid and Reliable Consent
With permission-based marketing, you can be sure that you have the valid consent of your audience. This is because companies have to follow strict legal guidelines to ensure that they gain your consent to send you marketing emails.
For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states that marketers must obtain ‘express consent’ before sending an email marketing message. As a result, companies have to focus on getting the most accurate consent possible, rather than simply relying on a click-through rate or open-rate.
The importance of getting valid consent cannot be overstated. Consider the case of the FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., where the agency sued the company for its online poker site operating without properly obtaining user consent. As a result of the settlement, Wyndham Worldwide was ordered to pay a $480,000 civil penalty and had to implement a comprehensive corrective action plan.
If you’re looking to implement a permission-based email marketing strategy, you probably already have a good grasp on the importance of valid consent. However, it is worth taking a close look at how you are gaining this consent and whether you are abiding by the rules set forth by the FTC.
To Have a Backdrop of Authority
According to the experts at Sumo, one of the key differences between a scam and a legitimate business is the legitimacy’s attempt to gain your trust by appearing to be a well-respected entity.
For example, consider the case of a company called ‘Hello Fresh’ which sends out regular delivery of fresh, healthy groceries. The problem is that instead of sending these fresh goods directly to your door, they take advantage of the fact that you have not consented to receive marketing emails and instead use a third-party service to send you daily emails containing offers.
These experts state that when it comes to online marketing, ‘sham’ businesses typically don’t have a physical address or a genuine website, among other ways of verifying their authority.
Many companies send out regular emails with information about their offerings and promotions. If you’ve given your consent to receive such emails, why should you be skeptical about these offers?
The fact that these businesses are attempting to gain your trust by having a back-drop of authority makes them much more believable. In a world of scams and illegitimate businesses, it’s important to remain skeptical of offers and promises – especially when they come with a back-drop of authority.
To Build Relationships With Your Audience
According to the experts at Sumo, marketers should focus on building trusting relationships with their audience rather than just selling them products.
Building a trusting relationship with your audience is a lot more difficult than just pitching them a product or service you think they’ll like. The key is to find a way to connect with your audience on a human level, without being ‘salesy.’ This is where the value of a good relationship becomes evident.
Consider the example of a company called ‘Wedding Bells’ which sends out monthly wedding planning emails. These emails are extremely helpful – they contain invaluable information about planning a wedding, such as names of popular suppliers, discounts, and exclusive offers.
However, if you’ve consented to receive this service, why should you be suspicious that this is a scam business trying to trick you? After all, they are providing you with valuable information you need to plan your wedding.
In the world of scams and illegitimate businesses, building a trusting relationship with your audience is one of the most important aspects of marketing – and it’s often the aspect that gets overlooked. Too often, scam artists prey on people’s trust – whether they are trying to trick you into providing them with personal information or trying to sell you a product. Avoiding these pitfalls requires constant vigilance – and it means doing your research before acting.
To Cut Through The ‘Noise’
According to the experts at Sumo, one of the best ways for marketers to reach their audiences is through a combination of relevant content and email marketing.
No matter what type of industry you’re in, you’re always going to have competitors trying to take your customers with misleading offers and low-quality products.
To combat this, you need an effective means of cutting through the ‘noise’ and getting your audience’s attention. For this reason, many businesses choose to go ‘dark’ – meaning they don’t promote products or services through broadcast emails. This strategy keeps your email marketing content relevant and prevents your business from being drowned out by the competition.
The experts at Sumo recommend that businesses implement a ‘newsletter’ strategy – meaning they should only send out emails with important information, rather than promotional content. The goal is to keep people interested in what you have to say and ensure they don’t get distracted by the numerous unwanted emails they get daily.
To Build A Large Enough Audience
The experts at Sumo state that it is possible to build a large enough audience with just a few good campaigns. However, it will take time – at least three months, according to their research.
This is why you should implement a permission-based email marketing strategy – to put in the time to build a large enough audience to make the effort worthwhile.
To Ensure You Are Complying With The Law
Another important reason to implement a permission-based email marketing strategy is to ensure you are in compliance with the law. From a legal standpoint, permission-based email marketing is a lot more accessible than ‘salesy’ email marketing, which floods people’s inboxes with unsolicited advertisements.
The experts at Sumo say that the best plan in terms of legal compliance is to approach email marketing with a ‘fishing expedition’ strategy – meaning you should send out a series of emails to see what kind of responses you get. If you choose to follow this strategy, you can be sure that you are not breaking any laws.
However, even if you’re following the rules and you’re not breaking any laws, you still need to be mindful of how you’re conducting yourself. Scammers and illegitimate businesses often go undetected for years because they follow the rules and play by the book – but there are times when their lack of originality and cleverness makes them easy prey. So, while it is extremely important to be mindful of how you’re conducting yourself from a legal standpoint, you also need to be careful not to be seen as too vanilla or conventional.
Why should you implement a permission-based email marketing strategy? Here are just a few reasons. One of the most compelling is to ensure you are legally compliant. However, building a trusted relationship with your audience and creating engaging content are also important – and hopefully, this post will convince you to give permission-based email marketing a try.