Email Marketing Ethics: The Dos & Don’ts you should know.

Al-ameen Abolare

Our existence as humans is guided by fundamental moral principles. These principles guide the ways we act, what we do, and the consequencesof our actions.

Just like life is guided by a body of ethics, marketing is guided by some principles that must be adhered to. When these principles are upheld, you get the fruits of your marketing; but when they are ignored, you smell the consequences.

Today, we will be discussing the ethics of email marketing.

The entire space of marketing has exploded as a result of the improved email marketing techniques that exist in the world today. Email marketing has allowed everyone to achieve an increased rate of sales and also build strong brand presence.

However, like most other things, email marketing can be very harmful to the growth of your company if you are not doing it ethically.

Below are some of the dos and don’ts of email marketing.

Deliver as promised or don’t promise at all

It is a great thing to try and market your newsletter or capture leads by offering mouthwatering benefits and features. In fact this is a beautiful way of marketing because it will help your audience understand the value they will receive.

But if you know that you won’t be able to deliver the benefits you promised on your landing page, it’s better you avoid over-promising.

Sadly, most marketers have the flawed belief that you need to do everything possible to get into the door. Once you’re in, every other thing can follow.

Getting into the door is just a little step in the entire process. If you over-promise or – to just say it as it is – lie to people about what you have to offer only to get into the door, they will kick you out of the door in a jiffy.

Do not spam people.

People dislike having their mail box filled up. But do you know what they dislike more? Spam emails.

If you try to spam your audience by sending unrelated messages, shady links, or other form of unethical communications, you are putting your exit on a fast track.

Think about it. How do you feel whenever you wonder into your spam folder? What idea do you have about the messages that you find there?

Mails that end up in the spam folder end up losing their credibility in the eyes of the audience.

Even if you manage to scale through the algorithm and land on the main inbox, you must still ensure that your communication is free from spams.

Let your audience know how often they should hear from you

How often will you be sending your mails? Everyday? Every week? Fortnightly?

Determine a specific schedule for your mails and let your audience know about it. This helps you achieve two things:

  1. It tells them when to expect you in their mail
  2. It gives them the ability to choose whether your mails will be too often or just okay for them.

Number 2 is very important because most times we think that we’re receiving too much of a certain mail, when in fact the mail just arrives in the wrong moment.

When your audience knows they will only be hearing from you two times weekly or once weekly, they will not misjudge your frequency.

A better strategy is even to give them specific days to expect your mails.

Maintain frequency as promised

Did you tell them you’ll get in touch twice a week? Stick to it.

Daily? Stick to it.

Once weekly? Stick to it.

The purpose of your schedule is to give your audience a clear perspective. So, you must be willing to stick to whatever plan you create.

Being able to maintain a particular schedule also establishes you as a consistent server.

Notify users when you’re changing your schedule.

It’s not so easy to stick to any schedule. Work can become tough and life can happen. So what should you do in that case?

Inform your audience about the change and let them know what the new schedule will look like.

This will even help you build better connection with your audience.

Make unsubscription easy.

This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true.

Most marketers try to prevent their subscribers from leaving, and so they make unsubscription hard by hiding the link or prolonging the process.

The fact that a person wants to unsubscribe means that they have partially made their mind up. All you need is a dialog that says “are you sure you want to unsubscribe?”

If the subscriber clicks yes, let them go!

When you make it hard to unsubscribe, people may end up marking you as spam. That will cause you more harm than allowing them to unsubscribe.

Optimize your email marketing software

Not all email marketing software are created equally.

Although they may seem to have the same features, there are nuances to each one that makes them favourable (or not).

Test the email software you’re using and see its performance. How many mails are opened? How does it look after you’ve sent the mails? Are your mails landing in the promotions or primary tab?

All these are very important parameters that you must consider.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to try out another software just to compare the effectiveness. You can find out more about the different email marketing software here.

It’s worth it…

Learning about the dos and don’ts of email marketing may not seem very important, but it will offer you the edge in this competitive world of the Internet.

This may not be an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts of email marketing, but it does give a good perspective to the ethics of marketing.

Every individual, marketer, or business has a unique message to share with the world. Through a successful email marketing campaign, you will be able to position your message in a beautiful way.


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