Executing Email and SMS Campaigns with Integrity
Heather Maloney - August 12, 2010
Executing Email and SMS Campaigns with Integrity
Presented by Heather Maloney at the High Ideals 'On the Couch' event.
There are 6 areas which I addressed with participants of the High Ideals event with regard to acting with integrity around email and sms marketing:
1. Data Collection & Consent
There is legislation in Australia (Spam Act and National Privacy Guidelines) governing what you can and can't do with regard to emailing and texting your contacts. I covered that off briefly, but my key point in this area is that you should always aim for what I call 'acknowledged consent' where every person who receives your emails actually knows that they are going to receive them, and has welcomed them. That is, they didn't fill in a form that had a pre-ticked box in it, and they definitely didn't just hand you their business card at a networking event.
2. Honouring Your Purpose
When you added each person to your database (as part of getting their consent to receive your electronic communications), you will have told them what sort of content they would receive, or better, your purpose in sending the messages. For example, when I ask people if they want to receive our Contact Point email newsletter, I explain that it helps people to keep up to date with technology changes, industry news, and they will hear what we have been doing for our clients - with the intention of providing ideas for their business. Your purpose will be very different to this, and could be anything from providing special offers, educating your contacts, etc.
The important thing here is that you should always honour that originally stated purpose, and not deviate from it - afterall that's why people agreed to receive your communications. If you deviate from that purpose you will likely have many people un-subscribe as they will feel that you are spamming them.
In the recent Australian elections I noticed that some email campaigns of eNudge subscribers specifically chose to talk 'off topic' and about the political campaign. This resulted in a notable increase in unsubscribes. People just don't like this, and it also lacks integrity.
3. Honouring Frequency
Similarly, when people agree to receive your communications, you would have / should have given them some indication as to how frequently you will send out messages. If you don't meet that expectation, again your contacts will often unsubscribe, particularly if you send your messages much more frequently than promised.
4. Respectful Use of Analytical Data
eNudge allows you to know who has opened your email campaigns, who has clicked through on particular URLs within your eNudge email messages, and how many times your email message has been forwarded by each person to others. It is important that you use this for your internal improvement purposes, and not to harrass your contacts. For instance, you shouldn't ring your contacts and say 'I noticed that you did / didn't open our email and ... '. Your contacts may, however, be very happy to receive a further message about a topic they have indicated their interest in (by clicking on the URL) - and this is also respectful of others who aren't interested in that topic.
5. Email Size and Content
Whilst many people are utilising broadband internet connections now, that doesn't mean that you should send very large emails to your contacts. Your contacts may be overseas on holidays, away sick, on a mobile connection, or working interstate when your message arrives, potentially making the time it takes to download their emails much longer than it otherwise would have been. Don't be the sender of the email that annoys your contacts! Instead, you can easily link to a long document or an attachment served up on a web server rather than attached to your email.
Along a similar lines, make sure that the content of your emails is appropriate for where the emails are likely to be read. Don't put risque images inside your emails when they are most likely to be viewed in an office.
6. SMS Campaigns & Time Courtesy
When it comes to sending text messages, you also need to consider the time of the day that you are sending your messages.
With eNudge, we don't send text messages very late at night (Australian time) because we know that people can be very annoyed to receive a commercial message onto what they mostly consider a personal device, especially during leisure time.
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