What is Bulk Email Marketing? And Why is It Dangerous?
Bulk email marketing, in general, refers to when a mass email is sent to large email lists. It’s a popular, effective, and cost-effective marketing technique. But you need to be careful when sending to a large list– or any list for that matter. Australia has some of the world’s tightest spam laws– and some of the biggest fines to accompany them.
It’s easy to underestimate the severity of these laws. So, here’s the simple question– do you have express permission from the recipients to be sending them anything? If your answer is no, or even if it’s a little hazy, that makes you spam, regardless of how good the emails you send are. And the bigger the list, the bigger the fines– penalty units apply per unauthorised subscriber.
So, without further ado, here’s our ‘How Not to Be a Spammer 101’.
- DON’T send to any email list without express consent from every single recipient. it doesn’t matter if they’re your current and past clients, your best friend’s database, or your email contacts. If you’re emailing them with commercial intent (that includes email newsletters), they have to have agreed to receive those emails.
- DON’T use software that harvests or automatically collects email addresses. Dodgy.
- DON’T use email lists that have been produced using this harvesting software. Dodgier.
- DO make sure there is a working unsubscribe feature on every email you send out– your users need to be able to opt out if they’ve had enough.
Do these four things, and you’ll avoid the nasty surprise of your readers hitting the ‘report spam’ button. And a $1.8 million fine landing in your mailbox.
Building your list
But wait, what if you need to start an email marketing campaign but don’t have any kind of email list yet? If you’re not allowed to send emails to people you don’t already have an understanding with, then how do you target new customers and new audiences?
Well, there are a number of ways. Simple stuff, like encouraging users to forward the mail on to their friends and associates.For some industries, this can be extremely effective. Imagine your email newsletter gives some great advice– or a great discount offer. Why wouldn’t you send that on to a friend?
What about a little exchange? Give them something for an email address! PDF downloads are great for this– give them a free guide or recipe book in exchange for a sign up to your mailing list. Or make it part of a competition– email list sign-up equals an entry. Or simply put a signup form in a salient place on your website. Pop-ups might not be the way to charm consumers, but you should keep the form in sight! And clearly outline to those who sign up what it is that they’re signing up for, of course!
If you want all the benefits of a practical, environmentally conscious and effective marketing campaign but need help with the rocky road that is the law of email marketing, then send us an inquiry! We are happy to answer any questions or to start your next spam-free campaign. Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch!