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Small Business Email Marketing: The Third Commandment

Posted by Cheri Gaudet on 6/12/11 10:00 AM


Thou Shalt Not Use Outlook for Email Marketing

Rows of Spam on a shelf.The decision about whether to invest in an email marketing service is often clouded by a few fairly common myths. Don't fall prey to these three.

MYTH: When I use an everyday email program like Outlook for email marketing campaigns, my emails are always delivered, as long as my mailing list is good.

Internet service providers (ISPs) routinely monitor incoming email for their customers, filtering out anything that looks like spam.  Your email can get blocked for a number of reasons, including having too many recipients or even for containing certain phrases. What's more, most ISPs limit the number of emails you can send all at once, meaning your campaign might not be reaching your whole list. The best email marketing services have relationships with ISPs, meaning emails sent using those services make it to as many inboxes as possible.

MYTH: The CAN-SPAM Act only applies to big corporations, not small businesses like mine.

Not true, and not knowing the facts can get you in trouble, to the tune of thousands of dollars. According to the Federal Trade Commission, if the primary purpose of your email is to advertise or promote a product, service or website contact, then you must comply with CAN-SPAM. Email marketing services make compliance painless, especially the opt-out requirements.

MYTH: When my prospects open an email that comes from my everyday email program, they see exactly what I see when I click "send."

Email programs like Outlook let people choose whether they want to view emails in plain text or HTML. If you've taken the time to code a beautiful HTML email, people who've opted to view plain text only will just see endless strings of characters. Email marketing services automatically create plain text versions of HTML emails, then "read" your recipients' preferences and deliver what they want to see.  Not only that, but email marketing services usually offer an impressive array of slick email templates that will make your small business look like a million bucks - and save you the trouble of coding.

We can help you get the most out of your email marketing campaigns.

Topics: email marketing, email marketing best practices, small business email marketing, email marketing basics