Reputation Matters in Email Marketing

Many people try email marketing and get frustrated by the lack of results.  Usually they rent a list, hastily put a message together, and blast it out.  Then when they get no results, they complain that email doesn’t work.  Their email didn’t work because it’s spam.  Email marketing works if it is done intelligently and responsibly.  Better yet, it builds on its own success.  The better the campaign, the better the results, which makes an even better campaign, which then produces more results.  Why is this?  Because reputation matters in email.

Every time an email marketing communication message is sent it builds reputation, either positive or negative.  Over time that perception is built up.  If it’s a positive one the recipient will be more and more likely to view the sender as a credible resource and be more open minded to working with them.   

After a while it’s almost impossible to change the reputation because the audience has a pre-conceived notion of what the email will be and its hard to sway them in another way.  That’s great if you’re offering intelligent valuable emails, but terrible if you’re sending sales message after sales message that’s regarded as spam.

In fact it’s not just your audience that makes this judgement.  ISP’s keep track of your reputation by recipient responses.  Some judge solely on reputation, others might go for a reputation 80%, content 20% split.  Using spam reports and recipient complaints greatly dictates how they handle your email messages.   So not only is your ROI based on the quality of the campaign, so is the deliverability rate.

Obviously this is important to maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing but there is an underlying warning to building a reputation.  Many people decide to dabble in email marketing.  They sign up for a low cost service, use the pre-defined templates, throw a poorly thought out sales message together, and send it out.  When the sales or leads don’t flow in, they do it again.  The patient ones might do this a dozen times before declaring email as a wasted medium.  Unfortunately what they’ve done is make email marketing an even harder avenue for them to take advantage of.  They’ve set a bad precedent and formed a negative reputation.  It now takes even more work to get results from email.

So what hold true for many marketing and communication methods, applies to email as well.  Put some thought and time into what you’re doing before you do it.  Do some research learn what works and what doesn’t.  You can read books, hire consultants, contract it out, go to seminars, listen to tapes, whatever works for you.  The information is there, take advantage of it.  If you don’t you’re bound to make a  spam campaign, form a negative reputation, and make future sales and marketing efforts harder.  Email marketing will build a reputation, make sure it’s a positive one.

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