Automated emails, triggered emails, drip email marketing. These phrases are often used by people considering a marketing automation system. The common thread in these phrases of course is email and where there’s email, unfortunately there’s spam.
Nobody wants to be known as a spammer it seems, but plenty of marketers are willing to cross the line to try to generate more leads. How do they cross the line? They rent lists full of bad addresses and unqualified prospects. They get too aggressive with frequency and offers. In the end it seems to amount to nothing more than impatience and a desire for a quick and easy return. Acting on that desire however, can bite you squarely in the arse.
We’ve already published tips on how to avoid spam filters with better subject lines. Today we thought we’d make clear some of the consequences of crossing the line.
Consequence #1: You make less money.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Consequence #2: Who cares? Given consequence #1, it’s not clear that much else matters.
If you hate details you can stop here. If you can spare another 2 minutes read on to learn why consequence #1 is unavoidable when legitimate businesses shoot for instant email marketing gratification.
Negative Reputation
In the world of email marketing, reputation matters. The companies that handle millions of email accounts (Google, AOL, Yahoo, and Hotmail) keep track of the number of spam complaints generated by both your IP addresses and your domain. You get a reputation score for each. This means that your domain itself can be flagged as a source of spam. Not good.
They also keep track of the emails that are marked as spam by their filters. Each occurrence is a ding against you. Too many dings and your emails will be delayed if you’re lucky, trashed automatically if you’re not.  You’ve got to ask yourself, do you feel lucky?
Once your reputation is damaged just as in the real world, it’s tough to repair. Your email reputation is stored in databases and made available automatically via spam filtering systems to corporations and companies large and small. This means that a bad reputation spreads like wildfire, just like in high school. In some cases, even your day-to-day emails may be blocked or sent to the SPAM folder.
And did we mention that bounces matter too? Actually they matter a lot. This one seems to be very hard for people to understand: You send a well-crafted email that triggers no spam flags, yet your ESP (email service provider) is jumping your case about the “bounce rate”.
The math here is simple. High bounce rates mean low quality lists (lists that are old, poorly maintained, or “harvested”, “scraped”, “spidered” or “crawled” from the web). High bounce rates are the calling card of the professional spammer. If your list bounces like a superball you put your deliverability at great risk.
Low deliverability = low conversion rate = you make less money.
Low ROI: ROI on unsolicited email is very low. Getting a spammy campaign out the door may take less time than a targeted campaign to qualified prospects, but it still takes time. Open, click and conversion rates will suffer as will your rate of return.
Spammy, unsolicited email = low conversion rate = you make less money.
The additional time and resources required to launch engaging campaigns pays off for companies across the globe regardless of industry or size.
Fines: If you really push your luck you could end up hearing from the Federal Trade Commission.  They are charged with enforcing the CAN-SPAM act (a law in the U.S. that makes it illegal to send unsolicited commercial emails). The FTC has the power to fine up to $16,000 per offense. In reality your ESP will shut you down well before you get anywhere near the FTC’s radar, but we thought we’d mention it.

Subscribe to the Blog

Get the latest in digital marketing, marketing automation, and Net-Results updates.