Opt in email marketing and spamming are two sides of the same coin i.e. email marketing. While the former is the positive side of the whole concept, the latter is the dark side. While opt in email marketing is widely considered to be extremely beneficial and ethical from the business point of view, spamming is viewed as something despicable.
Surprisingly, there is a very thin line between these two shades of email marketing and most online entrepreneurs and internet marketing specialists are unaware of this line. The result is that many people end up treading over the line and ending up in the domain of spamming. Therefore, it can be said that it is very important for an email marketer to know what is opt in email marketing and spamming.
Defining Opt In Email Marketing
Opt in email marketing, as the name suggests, is email marketing wherein emails are only sent to individuals who have opted to receive them. The key fact with opt in email marketing is permission. Permission from people is received through a wide variety of ways including offering free items or getting them to give their permission after they have purchased something.
It is also important to note here that permission has to be specific to the email messages you are sending. For instance, if an individual has opted for general information articles about food then you cannot send emails pertaining to your restaurant.
The prime difference between opt in email marketing and spamming is that of permission. Spamming is a form of email marketing where you do not have the permission of the individual but you send him emails anyway.
Why Permission Is Important
Permission is important because of various reasons. For instance, if you send emails without permission then the reputation of your business would take a major hit. The worst case scenario with sending emails without permission is that your emails can be labeled spam. If this happens then you run the risk of your email address and your IP address being blacklisted by services providers.
The benefit of sending emails only with permission from an individual is that you are sending your messages to an individual who is already interested. This means that your chances of getting a conversion are higher. Effectively, your returns on investment would be higher as well.
Hence, as is logical, opt in email marketing is considered to be the right way to go about things as against spamming. Consider the following:
Benefits Of Opt In Email Marketing
Reputation: With opt in email marketing, the reputation of your business remains intact and even gets better over time. It would also allow you to become an authority in the field that your business operates in.
Consideration: Customers would respect your business more because opt in email marketing inherently shows that you are considerate about people’s privacy.
Conversions: As you will only be sending emails to people who are already interested, you would increase your conversions of leads into customers.
Savings: By not focusing on a random group of people and only going for people who have shown interest, you would be saving up on a lot of money, time, and effort.
Focus: Opt in email marketing means that the customers you are targeting have already shown interest in your business. This means that this kind of marketing has greater chances of success as your target audience is half ready to do business with you.
Relationships: Opt in email marketing would allow you to foster long term relationships with your customers as well because, over time, they would begin to trust your emails and, hence, your business.
Inherent Flaws of Spamming
Responses: When you use spamming as one of your marketing techniques then you would get minimal responses from the people you send the emails to.
Time: A large number of emails that you send would go to waste. This means that a lot of time you spend on sending them would be wasted as well.
Finances: While email marketing is a very economical marketing technique, it still costs a small amount of money. With spamming, as you will not get enough results, this money would be wasted.
Reputation: Spamming has a very negative perception amongst the online community. This is why if you use this technique then your business’s reputation would be ruined.
Penalties: Spamming will result in your email messages being marked as spam. If enough of this happens, then your email and IP address can get blacklisted.
Methods That Can Be Used To Get Permission
As mentioned above, there are various methods to get permission from individuals to send email messages. Consider the following.
A signup form: You could put up a signup form on your blog or website for visitors with the incentive being something free like a white paper or software trials.
Forms at events: If your business participates in events and trade shows, then you can give visitors forms to become a part of your email marketing campaign.
Transaction signups: After every transaction, you can give your buyers a chance to enroll themselves for more information about their products.
Spreading the word: Every time you respond to a comment on a blog or forum, you could include a link to a signup page.
Discount signups: You could offer discounts to visitors on various products and services if they provide their email addresses. As the incentive is monetary, a lot of people would be willing to provide their email addresses.