Although email has been around long enough now that most people are comfortable sending a variety of message types, there are some etiquette rules that can help you as you conduct business electronically. You want to come across as strong and trustworthy, and provide a value to your subscribers.
First things first: common sense dictates that you bcc people on email lists. You don’t want to accidentally be giving out customer email addresses to others. That is both an invasion of privacy and could also allow your competitors to poach clients – all they would have to do is subscribe to your mailing list! Another big problem here would be that some people will decide to reply, either with a question or comment, and they may accidentally reply to all, sending out a mass mailing. It happens enough by accident in the office, you don’t need it happening to your customers too.
Second, if the email address you use for mailings is not an account that is read, be sure to put that in the message. Direct your readers to the appropriate method of addressing concerns: include an email address that people can write to for customer service, and include a phone number with an address and hours of operation. If you use social media, also add links there. You want to show that you are reachable when they need you, and decreasing their frustration by giving them contact information is simple and an easy way to avoid frustration on your customers’ end.
Third: people are suspicious of spam and phishing attacks. These sorts of email attacks are getting more sophisticated as time goes on, so you have to be clear that you are on the up-and-up. Make sure you use correct grammar and there are no spelling mistakes. Many of these scams are coming from overseas, and misspellings or awkwardly worded messages can be a red flag to recipients. If you include links in your message, be sure that they lead directly back to your site, with clear links that make sense. Never ask for personal information in a message, either! Adding your company logo and contact information also usually helps, but spammers have caught on to that and sometimes do this as well.
Fourth: always have an option to unsubscribe. Sometimes people are going to decide they don’t want mailings anymore. They do not want to have to hunt down the link to stop getting them. It’s up to you if you want to have a survey – or at least one question – to find out why they want to stop getting messages. I find these helpful because if you have a huge portion of people saying the same thing, you can change tactics. It helps if you know that you need to improve the emails’ content or change the frequency of your messages. Giving people the option to change their frequency instead of dropping off your mailing list entirely often works, too. Maybe they only want to know about annual sales, or maybe they just want a coupon on their birthday. Again, having this as an option will often keep people on your lists.
Another important thing when you trying to get people to sign up for messages from you is to be upfront and provide value. Let people know even before they sign up what types of messages to expect and what they’ll be receiving. They will be more likely to sign up if they feel it will be useful to them. Also be clear about whether you sell email lists. I don’t recommend selling lists because the majority of people do not like it.
Well, that is a basic rundown of what you should do, but if you hire a company like mine to do the mailings, you’ll get even better advice! Ta-ta for now!