SPAM Part I – Why you should (and how to) avoid SPAM

Reaching your clients over the internet is an integral part of any modern marketing plan. However, it’s important to distinguish between acceptable, legal online marketing and “spam” – the practice of sending unsolicited email for commercial purposes.

 

What is spam? Are you guilty?

If any of the following statements relate to your list or message, your email is most likely spam:

• Your contact list was purchased or obtained from an outside source.

• Contact emails were gleaned from websites.

• Your contact list contains many generic emails such as webmaster@, info@, sales@

• Your list contains a high concentration of AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail  addresses

• Your contact information as presented in the email is partially or wholly incorrect

• Your email does not include a proper and working return email address

 

What’s so bad about spam?

If you suspect you might be guilty of “spamming”, stop. Now. Don’t be tempted to continue. Here’s why …

Spam is illegal. The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000.

Spam is ineffective. Studies by the Technion Technology Institute determined that messages sent to an individual have a 50% chance of response, whereas bulk emails receive only a 16% response rate. A Radicati Group/Mirapoint survey determined that while 11% of Internet users had made a purchase from an unsolicited email, 9% of the survey group had been taken in by an email scam. While people are wary of spam, they are more willing to communicate with someone they know who is contacting them directly.

Spam is a drain of time and energy for you and your customers. It is estimated that spam costs $1,000 to $2,000 per employee, per year.  Findings by Ferris Research, Inc. determined that spam cost U.S. companies $10 Billion dollars in a single year.

Spam poses a threat to genuine marketing. Legitimate emails can be confused for spam, both by clients and prospects as well as spam filtering programs, and this may prevent your message from reaching your contacts.

 

Check back Thursday for Part II – Best Practices for Legitimate Contact

 

SOURCES:
[1] spamlaws.com/state/ca.shtml
[2] business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
[3] findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BNG/is_2002_July_19/ai_89370909/?tag=content;col1
[4] technewsworld.com/story/44655.html

 

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