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Why is Relevant Content Important for Email Marketers in Avoiding SPAM Complaints?

May 7, 2010

For some email marketers, the most drudging task is not building their list of contacts, designing their email template or writing good copy, it is avoiding spam. When the spam complaints start to tally up, the impact they have on your reputation could be damaging to the point where recovering is very difficult. Unfortunately, for marketing, reporting spam has never been easier. ISPs are increasingly rolling out new features that allow users to mark unsolicited messages and tag them as spam with the simple click of a button. In order to avoid these complaints and keep your subscribers happy, it is a must that you send out relevant content on a consistent basis.

How to Be Relevant

Sending the same content to everyone on your mailing list is okay if you’re in the print newspaper or magazine business. Email marketing is an entirely different animal. This type of content distribution is the most effective when segmented based on criteria such as interest, value, and relevance especially. It takes some work, but here are a few tactics you can try to make your email communications more relevant and elude the spam complaints:

Know Your Audience - The best way to maintain relevance with your email marketing campaigns is to simply know your target audience. So many markers make the cardinal mistake of just firing away without understanding the needs of their audience first. If you have taken the time to properly segment your list and understand your subscribers, creating relevant content should come easy.

Get Your Timing and Frequency Together - Timing and frequency are both tied very closely to relevance. For example, a supposed daily mailing that contains time-sensitive information probably will no longer be relevant if it arrives two days late. The same can be said for a monthly newsletter that has a habit of arriving every other month. Keep this up and subscribers will forget about you quickly. It is pretty much like giving them an incentive to either hit the unsubscribe link, or “Report Spam” button.

Integrate Your Data Systems - In addition to collecting information about your subscribers, integrating your email marketing and CRM systems is another way to maintain relevance as it provides a wealth of rich data about your contacts. There are a number of tools and solutions available to make this is a simple process that doesn’t put a burden on your IT staff and a strain on your budget.

My Conclusion

Some email marketers have the misconception that spending more is the best way to get the most from their marketing budgets. However, it is actually relevance that is the key to increasing ROI. Your target audience has already been identified through acquisition so it is all about approaching them with content that offers value for their time and personal information. In the end, a relevance-focused strategy not only helps you avoid spam complaints, but positively grows your business as well.

Author:  Garry S.


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