I know, I know. We’ve talked about this before. But it’s getting worse!
Today, I received a spam email – unsolicited and promoting a service. But in the footer of that email it stated “This email is not spam” and then the sender spent the next paragraph explaining why his email was NOT spam.
Heavens! Factually wrong. Presumptuous, if not rude, too.
I hope you’re not making the same mistake. I’m sure you’re not. But just in case, here’s a list of 8 tests that your emails need to pass in order NOT to be considered spam.
1. Did you get consent?
You cannot send an unsolicited email. You need to get consent first. So if you just bought an email list and started blasting out emails, you’re probably spamming. Get people to opt into your email list first. Send traffic to your website through ads or organic search traffic, then encourage them to sign up or subscribe to your mailing list.
2. Is there an unsubscribe link in your email?
You must allow email recipients to unsubscribe from your emails. And you must process their requests in a timely manner – the regulations say you have to action the unsubscribe within 5 business days. We’ve all received emails with no unsubscribe link – drives you mad, doesn’t it! So clean up your emails and add an unsubscribe link to every one you send to your subscribers.
3. Is your subject line in CAPS?
Your emails should not look spammy. Having the entire subject line in caps, or just a word or two in caps, is considered spam. Exclamation marks are just as bad too. Just don’t do it. Your business image is important and cheapening it will do irreparable harm. Instead use persuasive language to encourage people to open your emails.
4. Did you say “free” in your email?
Be careful with the word “free” – you cannot use it to ‘induce’ potential customers to come to your website or offer a product or service at a discount. You can say “free” to existing customers or potential customers who have signed up for your email list.
5. Is your email a promotion or offer?
Only send deals, offers or promotions to customers or potential customers who have subscribed to your list. They have expressed an interest in your product or service and you’re helping them by offering your best pricing or new offers. However, if you’re sending deals to “strangers” then that is spam. Again, you’re trying to ‘induce’ them.
6. Are your asking the recipient to ‘send to a friend’?
In this case, you’re asking the person you probably spammed to spam their friends and contacts too! This is a “no, no” – you don’t have consent (see #1 above). McDonalds Australia got in trouble for this back in 2012 and were given a formal warning by ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority).
7. Did you send it from a real email address?
Your emails should come from an address that contains a name or a title. “joe@” or “admin@” are OK. But “1234@”, “list@” or “offer@” are not OK. “info@” is borderline. The more personal the email address the better. Email recipients should feel that the communication came from a person, rather than a machine. And email addresses that re-direct to other email addresses are not OK either.
8. Does your email only contain an image or a link?
Emails with just an image, link or a few words are spammy. Your message body should include content that is relevant, engaging and genuine. So take to time to craft a proper email and build your relationship with your audience.