So how would you like your anti-Spam law?

Moving on from our last week’s discussion – where we spoke about why it is absolutely critical to have an anti-Spam law in place, given the neck break speed at which digital marketing is moving – let’s try to figure out what are the various elements that will go into making a robust anti-Spam law.

An anti-Spam law, especially a good one, should not only take care of how emails are sent out, but also regulate finer issues to encapsulate the entire email marketing process. Something that governs the entire process beginning with the way an organization collects subscriber information to confirming subscribers to regulating the frequency of mails to how can someone exit from this subscription loop.

Keeping these things in mind we at netCORE feel that anti-Spam guidelines should encompass:

1. Registrations and Permissions

Often people want to drill down to the ‘Root Cause Analysis’ post a major issue. As glorifying as this may sound, it simply means figuring out what was it that actually caused the problem. More often than not the major contributors to Spam are people who send mails to a purchased or referred database thinking that it will increase their ROI.

Now face this, you are chilling at your house watching your favorite movie with a bowlful of popcorn and someone rings your doorbell claiming they are a new boutique and want you to try their fashionable clothes (for which you have to pay :O). While this might work with a few crazy shopaholics, do you really think you would even give them a second thought. My mom doesn’t buy detergent form such people; you think she’d actually buy clothes – no chance in hell! This is exactly what happens when people start sending mails to random people offering their so called best services at most affordable prices without even asking people if they need them.

This is where the registration and expression of willingness to receive mails comes into picture. While a potential customer is registering online, the organization should ensure that he/she has read the terms and conditions. The organization should take additional permissions from this person to send across third party promotional mails. For offline registrations, the organization should ensure that it is sending a mail to potential customers (whose data has been collected through exhibitions, meetings, seminars, workshops, sales points) and getting explicit permission to do so.

2. Email Communication Guidelines

Now that you have someone who has shown interest in receiving your email, let’s not drive them insane by being obsessed with sending too many emails. Don’t try to fool the prospect, he may get fooled once, but one abuse notification and you’re spending sleepless nights trying to figure out how to have your mails land in the Inbox again. Let them know that they might be receiving third party emails as a result of agreeing to your terms and conditions. Organizations should ensure that their emails have clearly identified senders, avoiding misleading sender names and subject lines. No, I don’t like receiving mails from some random female offering me ridiculous discounts. For me it’s the same as a British billionaire wanting to send me 500,000 GBP because he doesn’t have a kin (I know some people who have wasted time actually giving it a thought!). All promotional messages must carry an unsubscription link along with a link for abuse notification. Lastly, forbid the use of purchased or referred database. Not only do you end up sending mails to random people (adding to your mailing cost) who get annoyed with your brand, but also you stand a very high chance of getting very high Spam and abuse notifications. This will hit your brand value as well as your domain reputation. Negative word of mouth will cause even those interested in your offer to refrain from getting in touch with you. A spoiled domain reputation will lead mails to your genuine prospects, to land in Spam as well. Look at it from any angle, there is no winning scenario!

3. Unsubscription

It can be difficult to let go of certain things, and when it comes to letting go of someone who might give you his money, it becomes all the more difficult a business decision to take. Well this is the sad part.. on the brighter side think of it as you are letting go of someone who doesn’t want your services, which indirectly means someone is willfully telling you that you can save the time you’d otherwise spend on servicing them and focus more on those who are actually interested in your service. Remember Parote’s principle – also known as the famous 80-20 rule. It takes 20% of your time to finish 80% of your studies, 80% of the population is ruled by 20% percent of the people, my personal favorite, 80% of your salary finishes within 20% of the month. Similarly, its 20% of your customers that amount to 80% of your revenues – so why waste excessive time on the other 80%. Not that you don’t try to convert more people from the remaining 80% but focus more on the 20% that is willing to empty their pockets into your account!

The bottom-line – make exit really simple for people who wish to discontinue with your mailing. Make unsubscription a simple one click process and this better be free of cost. They aren’t your prisoners that you’d want to charge them a fee to set them free. Most important, honor unsubscription subjects within an already agreed specific number of days – let them feel that you are genuinely listening to their petition.

Well these are few things that we, at netCORE, deem absolutely necessary to be a part of the Indian anti-Spam law. What do you think about it?

Dec, 06, 2012

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