A basic email marketing guide I didn’t think was necessary

There’s something I noticed with the Philippine online marketing industry that’s ticking me off more and more (see, I give it a few strikes before I go on a full-blown rant now): a lot of them know diddly-squat about the basics of sending emails, and commit the following crimes:

  1. Does not conceal the list of recipients’ email addresses. Not even bothering with BCC, which is built right into email clients! Please try to retain some shred of professionalism and use a mailing list system. There are free ones out there.
  2. Does not explain why they’re sending the email or how they got your email address. People are busy and they enter email addresses everywhere, but it’s arrogant and insensitive to not put a disclaimer in the email. You can’t establish a trusting relationship with a potential customer if you can’t even be upfront about this. Be gracious. Be human.

    Here’s an example from the WordPress mailing list:

    At some point you signed up for the WordPress.org announcement list.

    If that was an indiscretion you’d rather forget, click below.

    This is TeamAsia’s:

    Advisory: Privileged and confidential information may be contained in this message. If you have received this message by error, you should delete this message and notify TeamAsia immediately. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you may not copy or forward this message to anyone. You may not disclose the contents of this message to any entity. All opinions and other information expressed in this message that do not relate directly to TeamAsia’s business are that of the sender’s and are not necessarily endorsed by TeamAsia

    You can be straightforward and casual or verbose and formal; just add a disclaimer.

  3. Does not include an Unsubscribe link. Everybody deserves to opt-out of whatever they get themselves into. Give them that opportunity or your email gets marked as Spam as a last resort. Again, it’s about trust.

These and several other guidelines have been passed as the United States CAN-SPAM Act and in Singapore there’s the mandatory <ADV> tag, but the closest thing implemented in the Philippines applies only to text messages.

Perhaps if they venture into email, things will only turn nasty as talks of a regulated internet may grow stronger.

Since we’re on the subject of noobs, here’s recommended reading for the other side of the fence, courtesy of Seth Godin.

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