Blogs Acquisition Email Data Myths Debunked: Why You Can Send Unsolicited Email

Written by Paula Chiocchi on 2017-10-18

 

As a child I loved Halloween, although back then I never really paid much attention to the reasons why we celebrated the holiday. As it turns out, there are many myths surrounding the origins of Halloween – and many of them have been debunked. I don’t want to go into detail on the “why” behind Halloween now, but thinking about those myths brings me to my key point…

 

The email marketing world also has its share of myths, especially when it comes to acquisition email. One misconception I often hear from our potential customers is that they are under the impression that it is unlawful to send unsolicited or “cold call” emails to prospects for the purpose of acquiring new customers unless they receive permission to do so in advance. As a result, they often hesitate to use acquired email data because they’ve heard that it can backfire on them in a number of ways.

 

But this is simply not the case at all, at least not in the U.S. and Canada.

 

Electronic communications laws such as CAN-SPAM (U.S.) and CASL (Canada) provide guidelines for email content and sending behaviors. These guidelines state that, essentially, businesses do not need consent prior to sending email as long as they provide a clear option for unsubscribing. A few points to keep in mind:

 

  • No additional steps or webpage site visits should be required to unsubscribe: keep the process simple. The law states you must provide an opt out link in the body of the email along with a postal address, where opt out requests can also be sent.
  • Marketers should absolutely never charge a fee for unsubscribes -- or require additional personal information beyond an email address during the unsubscribe process.
  • In addition to providing an obvious way to opt out of receiving email communications, marketers should honor the unsubscribe request within 10 business days. Have a clear process for this and stick to it.
  • Marketers should accurately identify themselves by using clear “to,” “from” and “reply to” language. This applies to the person or business sending the message, as well as the domain name and email address.
  • Marketers should not use deceptive email subject lines that misrepresent the content of their messages.

 

These are simple rules for most email marketers. Provided you address these rules, companies are free to email away – responsibly of course. Even if you are obeying the spam laws, your messages can still get stuck in spam email boxes. I’ve written previously about how to avoid the spam trap.

 

The Email Platform Myth

Another myth I’ve come across is that all email platforms essentially work the same when it comes to easily accepting acquisition email data. This too is simply not the case, and companies interested in leveraging email data to acquire new customers should understand the capabilities of their email platform before getting started. Some platforms can easily accept and integrate acquired email data for campaign use. Act-On, for example, accepts third-party email data, and we work frequently with clients using their platform, while others such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact are not designed for this purpose.

It can get a bit tricky from a technical perspective, and we encourage clients to ask us for guidance or even for email campaign delivery support. We also encourage clients to work with a trusted email data provider – one who guarantees their email data validity – in writing. (At OMI, we offer a 95% data validity guarantee.) Here’s a list of four more things to look for when it comes to acquiring email data.

Lastly, OMI has just returned from AT&T’s Partner Exchange Summit 2017 in Dallas. We were not only sponsors and exhibitors, but I also had the pleasure of providing a quick overview of OMI on center stage. What a great event -- it’s always fun to get out there and engage in conversation with customers, prospects and partners.

 

We at OMI wish everyone a fun and safe Halloween season.

 

 

Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database.

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