Spam — the canned meat that everybody loves to hate. It fed the troops through WWII. It’s shipped across the world to Third World Countries to feed the starving. And, in most cases, it’s only tolerated because it does just that—it staves off starvation.
In the cyberworld, spam is just as disgusting. It’s a pasty, slimy product that is packaged and distributed universally across the internet, whether it’s what the recipients ordered or not. It clogs networking sites, fills your email box, and makes thousands of people mad every day.
So, don’t be a spammer. Yes, you could be a spammer. If your ad campaigns are carried in networks that have nothing to do with your products and services, you’re just in the way. The possibility of picking up a random customer here and there is the type of market spammers pursue, not quality businesspeople.
Abusing your lists can be spamming, too. If you’re constantly trying to trick your subscribers into buying this or that, or emailing them constantly with any excuse to try to get their attention, you’re being a spammer. It’s a very small scale attack, but its spam, nonetheless.
It becomes spam when it’s not what your customers are looking for. If it’s not what they signed up for, you’ll lose them.
How can you avoid being a spammer? There are several things you can do to improve the quality of your offers and communications to your customers.
First, give rather than take. Of course, you have to take—or make sales—enough to stay in business. But give your clients discounts. If you offer a service that few people have used, offer a discount on that service for the next 2 weeks. It will draw their attention to the service, give them a chance to save money on it, and make you money.
Give them free information from your field. A “did you know that…” section to your emails will give then something for free, without costing you any money.
Once you’ve established that you’re giving as much as receiving, you also need to check for spam alerts within your messages.
Most email servers offer a service to you that will screen your emails for alerts within your messages. These are usually certain words or phrases that catch the attention of filters. Your email server will also tell you what alerted it, helping you to craft future emails to avoid the same mistakes.
Words or phrases you may use in all innocence can be interpreted as spam by filters. Some of the most common are:
Stock disclaimer statement
Compete for your business
You can be removed from the list
This is an ad
Auto email removal
These, and many others, are words and phrases caught by filters, labeling your email or newsletter as spam.