3 Ways to Protect Your Brand Reputation in the Inbox
Jun 12 2018
Even the least experienced marketers can tell you just how powerful a tool email is for a company’s marketing efforts. With email, marketers get a direct link to their audience, an effective tool for engagement, and an ROI unparalleled by any other communication channel.
Of course, with great email power comes great email responsibility. When you have an easy way to contact your audience at any time, it can be just as easy to send an email that derails your relationship with your audience. Sending too much email, sending the wrong email, or sending to the wrong person can harm a company’s hard-earned brand reputation.
It’s much easier to hurt your brand’s reputation than it is to build it back up, which is why email marketers must take steps to ensure their email efforts don’t backfire. Here are three ways to protect your brand in the inbox.
Make sure you send relevant email at a comfortable frequency.
Email marketers often find themselves faced with a tough question: “How many emails should I send?” or “whats the best time to send?” It’s tricky because no two email audiences are alike. In fact, no two email subscribers are alike. That’s why one of the best ways to answer that question is to let your subscribers answer it for you.
Email preference centers can provide a way for your email audience to tell you the types of email they want, as well as how often they want to receive it. By implementing a preference center, you empower your subscribers to self-personalize the content they receive. This maximizes the relevance of your messaging to each subscriber while ensuring they don’t get more email that they can handle.
Receiving too much email is one of the top reasons that users unsubscribe from a company’s email list. It can also cause subscribers to get annoyed by your brand. With a preference center in place, you might be able to save a subscriber and your reputation.
Use suppression lists to protect your brand reputation.
As an email marketer, you probably put a few discounts in your audience’s inbox from time to time. It’s a great way to engage your audience, but what if you accidentally send one of those emails to an existing customer?
If a customer receives a special offer intended to drum up some new business, your current customers might wonder why they’re paying more than your potential new customers. At best, you’ll have a confused customer; at worst, you might just lose that customer to a company that also offers email discounts.
Email marketers use suppression lists to stay CAN-SPAM compliant and avoid emailing people who have opted out, but you can also use these lists to improve the targeting of your email campaigns. For instance, you can maintain a list of your current customers to suppress them during your email campaigns, especially if you use affiliate email marketing. That way, you can help ensure that your current customers stay current customers.
Don’t forget about your unsubscribers.
Unfortunately, you don’t get to stop worrying about brand reputation protection once someone chooses to unsubscribe. You have to keep your unsubscribers happy too. After all, they might not be a list member anymore, but they might still be a potential customer.
CAN-SPAM regulations require companies to honor all opt-outs within 10 business days, but honoring them sooner will ensure you stay in your audience’s good graces. That’s why it’s important to have a system in place for synching your opt-out lists and suppression files, especially if you email with affiliates or use multiple ESPs. In those cases, it’s best to centralize your nonmailable data with a secure list management platform, such as UnsubCentral.
While it hurts to see a subscriber leave your email list, it will hurt even more if you make it hard for them to unsubscribe or you keep emailing them. That could lead to spam complaints, costly CAN-SPAM violations, and a tarnished brand.
The best way to handle unsubscribers is to make it as easy as possible for them to opt out. Letting go of these unengaged subscribers without friction can prevent deliverability issues, boost your email metrics, and keep your brand reputation intact.