What You Need to Know About Email Lists

Now, we all know what an email marketing list is right? If you still do not grasp the entire concept of an email list, here you have it — “An electronic mailing list (sometimes written as elist or e-list) is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list — a list of names and addresses, as might be kept by an organization for sending publications to its members or customers — but typically refers to four things: a list of e-mail addresses, the people (“subscribers”) receiving mail at those addresses, the publications (e-mail messages) sent to those addresses, and a reflector, which is a single e-mail address that, when designated as the recipient of a message, will send a copy of that message to all of the subscribers.”

The aforementioned can be of great importance in your company’s attempt to disseminate information to new and existing clients. But, what happens when your list is either too long or you do not have the time to manage this on your own? Simply stated, you look to a company that can handle this seemingly daunting task for you. But what things should you know before handing over your email list?

First, you should inquire about a confidentiality agreement. What exactly is a confidentiality agreement and how does it protect you? A confidentiality agreement is a legally binding contract between two entities that outlines confidential information and its intended use. By offering you a confidentiality agreement, this company is in fact stating they will not use your email list in any way other than the terms of which you have agreed. In other words, they cannot sell your list to a third party or use it for their own benefit.

Secondly, you should ensure that every single email sent out on your behalf will include an Opt-out option. What does this mean? This means every recipient will easily be able to discontinue receipt of your emails at any time. This step is not only important – it is also mandated by law.

Thirdly, you should ensure this company is antispam compliant. Antispam complaint means the information you are sending out to recipients has been requested. If at any point, someone on the list opts out or worse yet, someone who never requested your information receives it, you are then spamming.

Lastly, you should ensure the company you select can provide response handling and email tracking capability. What does this mean? Ideally, you want every email opened and every email to reach the intended email address. Realistically this does not happen — people change email addresses, forget to add you to their safe email list, or simply lose interest. No matter the reason, you want to know how many emails were opened, bounced, never opened, and returned. Bottom line, your email marketing provider should be able to give you an extensive report about your email marketing campaign.

In closing, I will say selecting an email marketing provider is not something you do on a whim or based on a gut feeling. There are important criteria that should be met by the company you trust with your customers. If a company cannot provide you with what we have discussed today, they are not the company for you.

*Did You Know – S.P.A.M. stands for Stop Pornography and Abusive Marketing.

One Response to “What You Need to Know About Email Lists”

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