How to Keep Your Email Marketing Operations from Turning to the Dark Side

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With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hitting the silver screen, breaking film industry records, and reaching $1 billion in sales globally faster than any other movie in history, it’s safe to say that the battle between the light side and the dark side of the Force is spreading to virtually every facet of our modern lives. Surprising though it may seem initially, the inbox is no exception to this rule.

To ensure that you’re brand isn’t swayed by the temptations and promises offered up by the “dark side” of email marketing, let’s cover everything you need to know about doing right by Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), your audience, their email service providers, and the other forces of good that are found in the inbox.

Avoid the Appeal of Assumptions

To start this discussion off right, Jordan Elkind of Marketing Land suggests that your brand do it’s best to avoid letting assumptions and “gut feelings” dictate your decisions in the inbox. Years of experience and confidence in your understanding of the target audience can help guide your content and timing decisions, but don’t let this assumed knowledge get in the way of facts and key performance indicators (KPIs.)

Audience tendencies can – and will – shift, so you need to be prepared to roll with these changes as needed. New and innovative techniques for inbox outreach also pop up from time to time, so having the flexibility to test your own boundaries and explore these options helps guarantee that the quality, and impact, of your marketed messages remains at peak levels.

Understand That Quick and Easy Isn’t Always Right

Yes, facing down the grind of crafting new content, implementing personalization, or handling opt-out requests can feel like a daunting process at times. However, embracing the patience and steadfast nature shown by the likes of Yoda, Luke, and the rest of the Jedi Order as you say “No thanks” to spam and the other “easy way out” options is always the right call.

Aside from maintaining a sense of goodwill with your audience, skipping out on these less than savory tactics ensures that you always stay in the good graces of the enforcing arm of CASL. Considering that the fines and penalties offered up by this regulatory agency can reach into the $10 million range, this process isn’t just about protecting your reputation, it’s also the key to securing the future of your business.

Be Considerate of All Platforms

As Becky Waring of PC World points out, the variety of platforms utilized by your audience demands a response that goes beyond a singular or “one size fits all” approach. Much like the countless lifeforms that make up the galactic community in the “Star Wars” universe, each portion of your audience experiences your content from a different perspective or viewpoint.

The difference between Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, and other platforms can be vast – and that’s not even addressing the needs of the desktop and mobile portions of these audience segments. Fortunately, by considering the unique requirements and capabilities of each of these platforms, you’ll be able to cater your content to the technical limitations of these segments (screen space, image restrictions, etc.) and develop a stable of marketed offerings that promote a quality experience for the entirety of your contact list.

Don’t Barge into the Inbox Without Permission

Finally, if your entrance into the inbox is reminiscent of Darth Vader’s famous boarding of the Rebel ship at the beginning of “A New Hope,” then it’s time to rethink your take on how to forge connections with new audience members and garner consent. Specifically, charging headfirst into this private digital space without permission is simply unacceptable.

Aside from the fact that unexpected marketed emails can be a jarring – and unwanted – experience for this potential audience member, your brand is also entering territory with this practice that is firmly unacceptable by CASL standards. In other words, only connecting with those viewers who opt-in to your email marketing operation stands as a far better option than simply barging in without permission.

As you can see, the path to the “dark side” of the world of email marketing is actually an easy route to travel down if you’re not careful with how you conduct yourself in the inbox. Fortunately, with everything that you’ve learned here leading the way, there’s no reason why your brand can’t play by the rules and enjoy all of the benefits that come with a successful and well managed email marketing campaign.

About Victor Green

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