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  1. #1
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    Spam the database: potential damage from non-opt-in email marketing?

    I am developing an email marketing program for our company, but I am having trouble convincing my boss why we should do opt-in for the newsletters, etc.

    We have a database of 50,000 people that have signed up with the company in some capacity, but this is over the last 7 years, and we only really interact with about 250 people (our core group). We're in an industry that has the potential to piss off a lot of people (staffing and recruitment - no job? no love.).

    I will not be able to sell double-opt-in. Period. I'm having trouble selling single opt-in - the boss just wants to spam the whole database. Volume is far more important than quality.

    We've dealt with blacklists before, and he doesn't see this as a hurdle. I've been arguing company reputation, but it's a vague concept that isn't getting any traction.

    My best option so far is to send a text email inviting everyone to click a link to subscribe, but I know he'll say that not enough people will click. I say the ones who click are the ones we want to interact with and we can ignore the rest.

    I need a strong, compelling argument for opt-in and against just spamming the database.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
    winter is around the corner Tomer's Avatar
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    I'm not expert on this, but I think that if too many people mark the message as spam - the ISP could blacklist your email host. Not to mention that thousands of angry users is never good.

    Your suggestions is great - send out a text message offering them to opt-in the newsletter - maybe try to offer them something [sweepstakes]. Maybe something like that if they opt-in, they get a chance to win a holiday trip for two somewhere. If they double opt-in, they have double the chances to win stuff like that.

    Good luck!
    - Tomer

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Tomer. We talked about being blacklisted - evidently we have experience in getting off blacklists with ISPs. Also, if the service shuts us down, we'll move onto another service.

    I have faith that my employer is honest about what we are trying to do, but they want to maximize the volume. There's a fear that the number of opt-ins won't make it worthwhile to continue the campaign (plus there's a serious problem with corporate A.D.D.). I just hate the spamminess of what they want to do, and need a compelling argument (a technical case for my immediate boss) against the non-opt-in. The "best practices" isn't compelling to him (grrr...).

    Cheers,
    Dave

  4. #4
    winter is around the corner Tomer's Avatar
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    Well other then being unethical and the banning issue - mass emailing would probably bring in the best ROI - so there is not really a compelling argument.

    - Tomer

  5. #5
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    Try pitching an incentivized opt-in. The company can offer something to those that opt-in (i.e. drawing for iphone, etc.). Then, not only will you have gained respect by asking persmission to send the newsletter but you will have also garnered even more replies with the incentive.

    Good luck!

    Regards,

    Clickbooth B
    Clickbooth
    The Exclusive CPA Network
    http://www.clickbooth.com

  6. #6
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    At the end of the day blacklists and brand reputation are all you can really argue. Sending an email to people who have not opted in is still legal (in the US), provided that you include the proper optout, address and other details. Thus there is no huge “deterrent to pitch to your boss in upfront dollars unless the email message is violating one of the regulations by using deceptive content, is missing required information, or if the email fails to adhere to optout regulations. In those cases the fines can be $11,000 [b]per email[/b[.

    What is huge and what you are likely going to have to continue to push is industry and brand name. I'm not saying push for some abstract understanding of "brand value but rather the very true, very real reality that once pissed off, people just about never return to a company and will spread their opinion throughout the industry. If your boss doesn't understand the value of company reputation than he should not be making marketing decisions, if there's other executives who do get it, talk to them. If he gets it but is ignoring it than you probably have a good sign that business is not headed in the right direction -- ignoring the future of the company is a classic sign of both short sightedness and the need to give it "one last push".

    Ultimately if the people above you don't buy into it you can offer more methods of validation, incentives validation to try and boost response, refuse to send the email (and likely put your job on the line) or just send it out. It’s not a fun choice to make – my opinion has always been to hold fast but that’s easier said than done.

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/...s/canspam.shtm
    - Ted S

  7. #7
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    There's no specific email law in Canada, but it's covered under PIPEDA (can't remember the full name of the Act), and we're clear of that.

    Oh well, I don't feel good about it and the boss knows, but business trumps, I guess.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Dave

  8. #8
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    Hey Dave,

    Ask your boss this question... "If you don't think people will click a link to confirm they're interested in hearing from us, what makes you think they'll respond to an offer they didn't ask to receive from us?"

    Me, I'd rather have 1000 people who I know are interested in hearing from me than 50,000 who could care less when they hear from me. It's less of a headache to manage and depending on who and what you use to send your emails, can also be much less expensive too.

    What's the KEY to having people anxious to hear from you? Provide them with helpful, relevant information on a regular basis and keep the sales pitches to a minimum - maybe 20% of your newsletter content at most. While you might have a list of 50k people now, how long does your boss think they'll keep reading your newsletters if all they ever receive from you are sales pitches?

    Sorry man, I know it's a hard sell when spamming 50k people seems so easy and profitable and I hope this all works out for you in the end!

    Cheers,

    Steve


    P.S. Oh, and here's another question for your boss. "How many unrequested emails that you get do you take time to read - and how do you feel about the company that sends them to you?"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravedesigns View Post
    P.S. Oh, and here's another question for your boss. "How many unrequested emails that you get do you take time to read - and how do you feel about the company that sends them to you?"
    Now that is The question to ask!

    You could ask your boss that you try doing what you think will do best for the company for maybe a month. If there is no successful returns from the clients for that alloted month then you could go back to the original plan of your boss, sending emails to all 50k clients.


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