I see a lot of email newsletters from clients and partners. Quite a few are well formatted and contain exciting and useful looking information. Sadly a lot are poorly formatted and overwhelmed by nearly a Website-worth of content, which makes the message difficult to appreciate. To make matters worse for the sender, these newsletters hardly comply with Email Newsletter Rules set forth by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Sending the occasional email newsletter can be a great way for any business to stay connected with potential and current customers. Not only can you build brand excitement by updating subscribers about services and products, but you can create advocates through something as simple as a usage tip for a product.
Problems begin when you either intentionally or accidentally leave out required elements, and this lack of compliance with legal requirements can get you in a lot of trouble. Yup, even if your intentions were innocent.
There are a number of email newsletter rules that you have to be aware of before sending any mass message. Whether you're like me and build your own newsletter or you're using an email service that automatically addresses these rules, it's still important to know what the requirements are and why they're enforced. Here are my top five:
Most of the following information was taken from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Website.
Remember, SPAM is taken seriously. Even if done unintentionally, it's bad form and can destroy your company's credibility. Worse yet, you can be held legally liable. More definitive guidelines can be found on the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Website, including this great question and answer on the FTC Blog.
While not required by any government agency, these two tips are no-brainers if you understand anything about marketing. Otherwise why even bother sending a newsletter?
If you are the DIY newsletter type, which in my opinion is more fulfilling than using a pay-to-use email service, you should be curious how your newsletter looks to recipients.
Google mail (Gmail), Outlook, Microsoft Live, Thunderbird, Opera, IncrediMail, Bluebird and on and on are all email clients. Some are Web browser based, other desktop clients. are operating system specific and mobile clients are of course stingy on screen real estate. So how do you ensure your creation looks good across all email clients, and still doesn't come off as spammy? Use an email newsletter checker of course!
My favorite and free tool for many years is "Mail Tester." This online tool just needs you to send your newsletter to a randomly generated email address, and thereafter the service will automagically scrutinize your layout and content, returning a really nice list of the good and the bad. From there, it's up to you to make any necessary changes.
Looking for an easier to manage e-mail marketing solution? I offer a sophisticated and mobile-ready tool that can be built into your new Website. Create, send and manage email newsletters directly from your Website, no monthly fees! Contact me for a free quote.