Have you ever received an email and thought, “How did this get in my inbox?” or “I didn’t sign up for this!”. These are clear examples of email marketing fails, which make a company look untrustworthy. The reason we have permission marketing is to ensure someone has actually obtained the permission from an individual to contact and communicate with them. Plus, it’s always going to be more effective if people actually want to hear from you; otherwise, you’re just another piece of junk mail.
Sometimes companies can participate in this type of “bad” email marketing, even if they don’t realize it. So, if you’re wondering if you’re participating in some sketchy email marketing, we have put together a list of activities that are being flagged quickly by email service providers and causing your potential customers to click “mark as spam”:
1. Adding anyone who hasn’t opted in
If they haven’t signed up for your newsletter, then you simply shouldn’t be sending them one. It’s actually illegal to do so. You need to have explicit permission to email them. This also goes for people who have “unsubscribed” to your newsletters. You can’t simply add them in again.
2. Including fake emails as real emails to bump up your numbers
When you claim made-up emails to bot emails are part of your “mailing list”, it is just a dishonest way of upping your numbers. It doesn’t help your business in any form as you simply can’t convert a customer who isn’t real.
3. Telling sponsors or advertisers that you’ve got a huge list when you don’t
It is a no-go to lie about your open rates and engagement being high when in reality they are consistently low. You risk ruining relationships when companies realize you don’t have the reach you previously said you have. That’s a surefire way to ruin your reputation.
4. Avoiding due diligence when buying lists
The claim of ignorance rarely works, especially at the helm of a company. Importing emails and names that you’ve paid for without actually being aware of where that provider got those names (i.e. potentially illegally) is not worth the risk.
5. Scraping emails from other media platforms you use
Yes, this may be legal on some platforms, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. LinkedIn is a popular platform for this behavior. However, importing those emails into an ESP that people never opted in to is where you get into a legal grey area (remember, however, you can put them into a CRM).
If you avoid these mistakes and email marketing “hacks”, then your business will be on the road to success, rather than en route to a bad reputation and unhappy customers. When you use email marketing correctly and strategically, it’s one of the most effective forms of marketing, so there is no need to use bad hacks that could jeopardize your business.