This morning, as I was preoccupied with a problem that had sprung up, an email came in. I didn’t recognize the “from” name. The subject read DON’T FORGET!!! Never mind the fact that it was totally blind and offered no benefit, the caps and exclamation points added to my pre-existing annoyance. I opened the email anyway, and the bold red and black graphics and huge type shouted at me. Not finding an opt-out option, I hit “Reply” and shot back Take me off your mailing list!!
No sooner did I hit “Send,” than I recalled that I did know the sender – she was a completely delightful woman whom I had met at a networking function at least a year before, perhaps two. Feeling guilty about my cyber-shouting, I followed up with an apology. But most of the time, when people opt out of your list, you don’t get a second chance.
The fact that the email I received was poorly executed was only part of the issue. The biggest problem was that I didn’t immediately recognize the sender because she let so much time lapse before contacting me.
We’ve launched a number of newsletters with lists that haven’t been used actively. For each year that passes without email addresses being used, spam report rates generally double. They can quickly reach the level where ISPs refuse to continue mailing.
Some companies only send emails in season, or every now and then when they’re not too busy – a big mistake. A regular schedule of emails that provide information your customers appreciate is the best way to make use of this valuable resource.