The last five years have seen explosive growth in Internet marketing, especially in the realm of the e-mail newsletter, or e-newsletter. E-newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with clients and offer value to people who visit your website. But if you overlook Step 1 your e-newsletter will likely cause you more harm than good.
So what’s Step 1? Get permission to send your e-newsletter!
It sounds simple, even elementary, but I am constantly amazed at the e-newsletters that land in my in-box: messages I was not expecting and did not give my permission to receive. While we may be personal pals or worked together several years ago, this does not mean you can go ahead and add me to your e-newsletter distribution list.
And I’m not talking about my personal preference. I’m one of the rare people who doesn’t really mind junk e-mail because it’s easy to delete unwanted messages. What I am talking about is breaking some very real rules. Many states have adopted their own anti-spam laws that expand on the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. These include making the sending of unsolicited e-mail a punishable offense.
A quick Google search on “unsolicited e-mail” returns several horror stories: the unsuspecting company that bought an e-mail list and sent out messages, only to be reported by hundreds of people as spammers and have their website shut down. Do you have the time or desire to deal with a site shutdown? I didn’t think so.
Luckily it’s very easy to avoid this situation. Just build your own list via a sign-up on your website – you’d be surprised at how quickly the number of subscribers will grow. If you’re going to begin sending an e-newsletter and have a list of clients you want to send it to, first send a message asking if you can add them to your e-mail list. And always keep the e-mails and sign-ups giving you permission to send e-mail – you never know when you might have to prove you were given the go-ahead to add someone to your list.