Playing by the Rules of Email Marketing

June 05, 2009


Why can’t I send my email newsletter to anyone I want – like I can with direct-mail cards?

Like it or not, we in the legitimate email marketing business are forced by law to play by different rules. Again, it comes back to permission. As marketing icon Seth Godin says, almost all forms of traditional advertising and marketing are based on interrupting istock_000004474914xsmallour daily lives with messages we didn’t ask for. Television, radio, newspapers and magazines – and even Web sites – are trying to get our attention away from what we came to get and attract us to what their advertisers want us to see and/or hear. Those forms of communication are important, but legitimate email marketing is different – and so are the laws.

We must get permission to deliver a message into an inbox, which opens the door to build real relationships – and the obvious benefits that result from earning and keeping our recipients’ trust.  Instead of a liability, think of it as an opportunity to reach your audience in a new and powerful way.

So, resist the temptation to buy or rent a list, we don’t need spam (or the fines that go along with getting caught) to be successful. We’re better than that.



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