The blacklist is one list you do not want to be on, but for some unknown reason, nobody seems to know or understand it, until it is too late.
So how do I stay off this blacklist everyone seems to be talking about?
The blacklist is the most important list NOT to be on if you use your own email domain for marketing. I speak with hundreds of clients a month and some have experienced firsthand what being blacklisted means, but many remain naive until it happens to them.
For those of you who do not know what being blacklisted is, Wikipedia does have a definition for it, but it might not make any sense. So as a gift to all of you, I wanted to break it down in 5 steps and help you prevent yourself from being blacklisted.
New email marketing rules have been in force since 2003 and the rule is called the CAN-SPAM act. It was created to control spam. The term CAN-SPAM is a play on the words, "canning" and "spam" which is a reference to the unpopular to some, food product. Spam is defined as unwanted, unsolicited or undesired electronic messages.
However, in commercial real estate what is spam to one broker, is the deal they have been looking for to another broker, so beware! Now spam is NOT the same as the “Prince” email promising us riches if we just send xx amount of money to someone overseas. The "Prince" email is considered phishing, so do not be confused by those terms. Simply put, spam can be anything sent to another person's email that they did not opt-in to receive or perhaps it is not relevant to them.
For instance, the email that pertains to retail sent to an industrial broker, could be construed as spam!
Here are the 5 Steps to Help Prevent YOU from being Blacklisted
- AVOID BUYING LISTS- First and foremost stay away, I mean far away from buying a list from ANYONE. I receive about 10 emails a day asking me if I want a list of industry client emails. Although it may be tempting, it will land you on the blacklist and worst of all you just paid to be on it. Build your own list or use a site like www.thebrokerlist.com , which sends the email for you and represents opt-in only verified members.
- MAKE IT EASY- Always have an Opt-out link on all marketing emails. Like myself I sometimes forget I signed up at one point or another and ask myself, why am I getting this email? I must have signed up but now the content is not relevant or I’m not interested. Not having an opt-out link will be sure to land you on the “Blacklist”. Most email marketing programs, like www.buzztarget.com , let you create a link in seconds so there is no excuse not to have one.
- MAIL MERGE vs EMAIL MARKETING- Another sure way to get on the list is to use mail merge and send out hundreds of emails from your own internet service provider. Again there are times to use mail merges and times not to use them and mass email is definitely not one of those times to use it.
- CONTENT IS ALWAYS KING - Keep your content relevant and remind users that they did sign up with you and be sure to offer them the unsubscribe link so they do not receive your email in the future.
- REBUILD– Make sure you keep your database clean and up-to-date and try to segment your list of emails so you can target market the right content to the right people.
If you do not follow these 5 steps I can almost guarantee you will end up on the blacklist and I am sure it is not a list you will be fond of being on.
How do I know if I am on the blacklist? Click http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx to find out.
If you want to be on the "Blacklist" don't follow these steps and you will be sure to end up on it