Email Marketing - Know (and Understand) Your Objectives

Are you the "blast first and ask questions later" type? It's easy to just blast to everyone on your email lists hoping something triggers someone - afterall, email marketing is pretty cheap. It takes little effort and even if it only produces .05% response rates - it's something, right?

Let's look at the other side of the interaction - the experience of the receiver - all those people you are sending indescriminate emails to. I am certain some unsubscribed and I'll bet many more hovered over the unsubscribe link and thought "Maybe I'll give them one more chance" and simply deleted your 'irrelevant email' - I know from your point of view it is relevant, but from the reciever's point of view, it is often not.

We have all been victims of this approach. Most of the time I didn't actaully opt-in, I simply wanted a whitepaper or an ebook that looked interesting. Suddenly I am getting barraged with emails and even phone calls.

Let's stop wasting each other's time - add a question at the end of the form - something like " Would like a representative to call you?" If I answer "yes" then call me. If I answer "No", then wait for me to contact you. Downloading something that interests me is a long way from "I am ready to buy". It's 2016 - surely you can tag my file and understand where I am in the buying cycle - if at all. I know it is easier to simply blast and hope but sooner or later I will unsubscribe and then the cycle begins again. In fact it is the witching hour for email marketers: year end. I will often dedicate a little more time this time of year unsubscribing from 'marginal' lists I find myself on.

Knowing something about the people on your opt-in list is imperative when running effective email campaigns. So gather information and tag your files. Know that there is a strong likelihood I will consider the message you are about to send is relevant to me. That starts with finding out a little about me when I opt-in. Then knowing your campaign objectives and matching that with my interest level is a good beginning. You might be pleasantly surprised at your response rates . If you sell left-handed wrenches, it's good to know whether I am left or right-handed.

Our new Candian Anti Spam Legislation will certainly help over the next few years. I have already noticed a reduction in Canadian-sent emails since last July. American emailers are about to get a rude awakening when CRTC fines a few American brands sending to Canadians without proper permission.

I have been forwarding all spam to If we all do it, the spammers will rise to the top and CRTC can use the new CASL law to change their behaviour or even shut them down.

Derek A. Lackey is the author of CASL Compliance: A Marketer's Guide To Email Marketing To Canadians

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