E-mail marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, usually a group of people, with e-mail. In the broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer can be defined as e-mail marketing. It implies utilizing e-mail to send announcement, inquire about business or find sales or donations. It can be utilized to help sell products, services or inquiring about donations.
Email marketing includes various kinds of messages, such as text, pictures and attachments. Email marketing includes the delivery of emails to the store and personal e-mail accounts, as well as e-mail lists. E-mail marketing extends to internet-enabled phones and mobile devices and social networks, if you used it to promote your products and services.
Email is inexpensive compared with traditional advertising media such as print media and television. For example, sending a letter through the U.S. Postal Service costs around 22 cents, or about 10 cents for a postcard listing; sending a direct mail piece through an online printing company can cost less than one cent per piece; and email marketing can cost even less.
Email marketing has been criticized for its inability to track effectiveness; being limited in scope; the potential for abuse by overzealous senders; the ease with which subscribers can unsubscribe from unwanted messages; the lack of control regarding content and format; as well as general complaints about “spamming”.
However, email marketing is slowly gaining acceptance in the Internet marketing field and also gaining acceptance in the general online community as a way to promote websites or products. For example, the website operator of the email list is not required by any laws to provide any evidence that the recipient consented to receive the message, and so it may be impossible to claim damages from abusive senders.
In addition, one common complaint is that when an email address is subscribed to multiple lists there is no way to tell which list a subscriber received each message.
Another complaint is that it is difficult to see which website sent the email because fraudulent addresses and domains can be used to hide a company’s identity. It has also been alleged that spammers state they are offering a new product or service, or claim to be from a government agency when contacting potential victims, and so made illegal claims under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. One example was an email that said the recipient had won $5,000 in an online contest but was required to send personal contact information first.
Email marketing is not identical to spamming. Although most commercial email sent from non-expert computers may be spam, an email message may constitute email marketing if it contains a promotional message that has a business purpose, and has been developed with sufficient quality and care to attract intended recipients. For example, the email may contain an offer of freebies or discounts from a website, rather than simply a missive asking for money or other valuable information.
Email marketing is considered the least intrusive form of advertising. The creation of lists can require a significant investment in time, however, as the design of an email list requires careful thinking and a thorough analysis of the purpose of each person on the list. This understanding depends on a combination of demographic information and contact information which may be gathered from various sources.
Email marketing is commonly used to promote products or services such as:
Digital products such as eBooks, videos, software and photos. On the service side, email marketers are known to send emails about physical products that are been sold on an online store which comes under the topic of ecommerce. Plumbers, dentists, lawyers, restaurants and even mechanics may use email to communicate service solicitation from current customers or potential ones.
The legal status of email is mostly determined by certain laws. These laws usually treat commercial email as correspondence between private actors, that is, senders and recipients. However, some laws protect internet users against unwanted commercial email. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 gives recipients the right to have commercial email sent to them unsubscribed.
The CAN-SPAM Act:
The CAN-SPAM Act also requires businesses to provide consumers with a way to opt out of future email marketing messages from that business. It also gives consumers the right to have email they have received deleted, and to have commercial email sent by a business blocked entirely from their inbox.
However, some laws do not explicitly regulate email marketing. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which governs telemarketing operations in the United States, does not specifically address email marketing to consumers. This is because the act was written when telephone calls were still being made on a payphone-to-phone basis.
As a general rule, the laws require obtaining consent from the recipient before sending email marketing messages. However, many companies have obtained this consent retroactively by having an unsubscribe link in their email. These emails are not compliant with CAN-SPAM because they fail to comply with the standard for obtaining consent.
The European Union Data Protection Act sets rules on how personal data can be collected and processed by organizations. Email marketing often includes collection of personal data such as names, email addresses, company names, etc. The EU Data Protection Act also regulates the type of personal information that can be collected and how it can be used.
According to the law, the user must provide consent to collect his or her personal data before it is processed. In addition, the person should be notified of how this data will be used and whether or not it will be shared with third parties. Also, when this consent is given, a contract is established between the organization and person being sent email marketing messages. If the person does not want to receive these messages, they must opt out of the email marketing service.
In contrast to CAN-SPAM, the EU Data Protection Act does not give recipients the right to receive emails regardless of whether they have previously consented. However, some companies have ignored this rule and sent data collection letters anyway. This practice is considered illegal and deceptive because it takes advantage of consumers who may be unaware that they are giving consent, or may not know what personal information is being collected from them.
The European Union Data Protection Act is broadly interpreted by the Article 29 Working Party (Article 29 WP). The WP provides independent guidance to organizations seeking to comply with EU data protection law. In 2008, the Article 29 WP issued a Working Document on the Application of the EU Data Protection Principles to Communications sent by Electronic Mail.
The document included guidelines for email marketing and for obtaining consent from senders and recipients. These guidelines were created to help clarify the meaning of all sections of the EU Data Protection Act and to help organizations determine whether or not their practices are in compliance with the law.
In 2016, the Article 29 WP issued a set of Guidelines on Privacy and Electronic Communications. The Guidelines are intended for businesses that send electronic communications, such as email marketing messages, to individuals in the European Union. The Guidelines are broadly consistent with CAN-SPAM and contain specific guidance for email marketing practices.
To comply with the EU Data Protection Act, some companies have established contracts with their customers that outline how data will be used and shared. For example, they may require the customer to agree to a contract before sending messages, and they may also specify how much of the email address will be used by the recipient’s business or organization. These contracts are generally considered necessary to obtain consent from consumers in order to send email marketing messages.
More information about consent and contracts can be found on the Email Marketing Practices page. There are no national laws that regulate the use of email marketing in the United States. However, some states have enacted their own laws regarding email marketing. For example, Oregon’s Email Privacy Act prohibits any collection of e-mail information by a business for commercial purposes without providing an opt-out notice and allowing consumers to opt out at any time.
The act also states that email marketing messages must include “clear and conspicuous language,” and include an unsubscribe or opt-out link. In addition, message recipients have a right to block delivery of emails to an address for which the sender does not have authorization.
FTC’s Email Marketing Guidance:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidance on email marketing practices through its CAN-SPAM Act. The FTC’s guidance sets out a number of prohibitions against the most common email marketing practices. Some of these prohibitions are:
1. False or Misleading Header Information
2. Deceptive Subject Lines
3. Failure to Disclose the Material Terms of Offers
4. False or Misleading Representations in the Email Message Itself
5. Failure to Disclose Complete Recipient List Information and/or “Forward to a Friend” Functionality
6. Harassment, Threats, Intimidation, or Offensive Content, Including Spamming
7. Misuse of opt-out provision
8. Violation of CAN-SPAM Requirements for Email Service Providers
9. Failure to Honor Refunds Offered
10. Violation of the “Do Not E-Mail” Registry or other applicable Do Not E-Mail registry
11. Fraudulent Practices Involving Third-Party Transactions or Offers
12. Use of Unapproved Software to Send Email Without Permission from Recipients
13. Too much money is now being paid to managers.
14. The only way to save money is to cut costs but not jobs.
15. Running after money will never satisfy us financially and we’ll expect more to come our way in the future.
16. The only way to make money is to provide a great service.
17. Customers expect us to do more for them without appreciating us doing what we’re doing.
18. We need some tough love in the warehouse! (this statement is an example of false or misleading representations).
19. The DHL connection to the US was broken for two days so couldn’t ship out yesterday’s order and did today’s one.
20. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, a few people have been in touch to discuss and form relationships with us.
21. We don’t want to leave it too late to order as we don’t want them all to sell out at Christmas!
22. Our sale will end at 11:59 pm tonight!
These kinds of headlines are deceptive and must be avoided its use at all times. If somebody sends you an email with these deceptive headings, you will not be happy about it as you know they are not true. Why anybody would send such an email to a potential customer beats my understanding. Don’t use false headlines on your email marketing efforts.
Those who use such headlines in their emails would be filtered out by the email filters. Don’t do it if you want people to receive all the emails you send to them.
The Internet represents a powerful and important means for carrying out international business transactions due to its potential for economy, speed, convenience and accessibility.
However, fraudulent email messages may also be sent from both inside and outside the country. This makes it important for recipients of commercial email to be able to identify and reject these messages. Effective filtering software can block a large percentage of the unwanted messages while permitting most legitimate emails through.
The most common way companies are attempting to fight back against the problem of spam is by having an anti-spammer policy which is clearly outlined in an email they send to customers. These policies typically pertain to cases where the business sends a message without having obtained consent from the customer.
The recipient of an email marketing message, therefore, must consent to receiving emails from that business. If the recipient does not want to receive email marketing messages, they must opt out of the list.
Some companies have obtained opt-in consent from recipients by providing an unsubscribe link in their email. This is a way companies can comply with CAN-SPAM and still offer their subscribers a way out of their email list.
The Opt-In process that many businesses use requires the recipient to agree to receive emails from the business. However, it does not require the recipient to consent to having his or her data collected or shared. Some companies have tried obtaining opt-in consent by sending an email that includes a link along with their message.
When a recipient clicks on this link, they are taken to a website and given the option of opting in or opting out of future messages from that company. Some examples of this include the following:
When a recipient clicks on the link in these emails, they are taken to a website that asks them if they would like to opt-in or opt-out of receive emails from this company.
The validity of email marketing messages depends on how clear and complete the internet addresses are, as well as the wording in the subject line. For this reason, it is best to have the email sent from a company website. The company’s domain name should be in the address line. For example:
The use of bullet points or a list format in emails can be confusing for recipients and they often skip over these sections.
These types of messages are more effective when they are combined with an offer that is relevant to the recipient, such as discounts on products or services. For this reason, it is also best to create and use a landing page for your email marketing campaigns.
When creating and sending emails, it is equally important to have the email appear professional. This is especially true when targeting your customer base as you want them to trust that you are a legitimate company. The title of the email should be clear and concise so it is easy for recipients to understand what the purpose of the message is.
The fact that email has made it easy for people to communicate on the internet does not mean that people should abuse it. Many people abuse emails because to them they have nothing to lose even if their emails are filtered out by an email service like Yahoo Mail or Google Mail. To them, they paid nothing for it and sending emails with deceptive heading though not good, to them since it does not costs them anything, they look at the whole thing as okay to do. But you and me know that it is not okay to deceive anybody with false and deceptive headings. That is why the FTC and other similar organizations have put out rules to help govern the correct us of email marketing. Email marketing is a blessing. Let us use it correctly and both the sender and the receiver would enjoy its inherent benefits and blessings.
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