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Email Marketing by the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level by Ali Sales, Chris Baggott

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Can You See Yourself as Your Customers See You?

By Chip HouseVice President of Marketing Services, ExactTarget

Spam is in the eye of the beholder. As email marketers, however, we often fail to put ourselves in the recipients’ shoes. Ultimately, it is the way that your email is perceived that will mark its success or failure. That perception can only be controlled by the actions you take on behalf of your brand. Set expectations and live up to them. Your customers will pay you back in loyalty.

According to Wikipedia, “Spam occurs without the permission of the recipients.” Therein is the rub. Permission can exist differently in the mind of each email recipient. For example, a subscriber might send a complaint to you, saying, “Okay, I may have checked the opt-in box, but you didn’t say you would email me a promotional offer every day. I was expecting a monthly newsletter.” In this case, permission may have been technically given (or you understood it to be), but you didn’t have permission to send daily, promotional emails. In essence, you didn’t have the recipient’s permission to do what you did. So, this, per the definition, is spam.

Again, avoiding being a spammer is to flip email on its head and to look at it from the recipients’ point of view. I’ve seen many mailers complain about the spam in their inbox and how they ignore and delete it, but they fail to see the correlation to their own email, which may be unwanted by some portion of their list. Again, spam is the failure to ...

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