Email can be a critical growth agent, but it is not without risks
Everyone in the Corporate World today is striving to contribute to growing their business. And there can be no doubt that email is a critical growth agent for almost any business. But without a structured plan, or knowledge of best email practices, it can be almost impossible to drive sales or build positive customer relationships. If you don’t take positive action to clean up your poor email sending habits you could be looking at a loss of productivity, legal and/or compliance issues, damaged brand and/or sender reputation, or even worse – landing on a devastating blacklist, making it impossible to send any messages at all. And no one wants that to happen.
So let’s take a look at four common email risks that corporations face and how you can mitigate or eliminate them entirely
Your productivity diminishes when you can’t invoice, send transactional emails, or even continue your email marketing efforts. What causes your productivity to suffer is sending to problem accounts like moles, spam traps, bots, and other hidden email threats. Sending to these email threats can negatively affect your sender reputation and potentially land you on a blacklist. Best practice is to deal with these issues before you find yourself in trouble. But if you do find yourself blacklisted, take a minute to learn how Webbula can help.
If you’re an email marketer, have you ever found yourself or a member of your company sending an email with confidential information to a misspelled email address on accident? That one mistake between firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com could cause you to send to a hacker, competitor, spam trap, bot, or more. This confidential information could potentially become public, and now you’re talking about compliance issues, legal ramifications, and loss of reputation, all because of a simple misspelling.
Let’s take a look at a few regulations regarding customer data that you should be aware of:
• SEC rule 17a requires some companies to store email communications and be able to easily retrieve them for a period of three years. IF your data is poor, you can’t accurately index or retrieve messages. Already the SEC has fined five large investment banks more than $8 million for noncompliance to this rule.
• Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information, in other words, it is protection against the misuse or misreporting of your own credit information. This is targeted towards creditors, collectors, or credit reporting agencies. This can cause a decrease in credit score, denied credit, higher interest rates and more.
• Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) went into effect on July 1st, 2014 and is known to be one of the roughest laws in the world. It was placed for the protection of Canadians to ensure that businesses can continue to be apart of the global marketplace. If you’re in Canada or you are sending to a Canadian resident you need to comply with CASL.
• California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 allows California residents the right to tell a business to not share or sell sensitive personal information. As of January 1, 2020, companies all over the world must comply with processing personal data of California residents. This was adopted in June 28, 2018, after the “ballot initiative”.
• General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most recent regulations by the European Union affected on May 25th, 2018. The primary aim of the GDPR is to regulate how the personal data of EU residents are processed – even by businesses that have no physical or legal presence in the EU. Organizations can face a hefty fine for non-compliance: Up to €20 million or 4 percent of annual global revenue, whichever is higher.
Sending to malicious email addresses like spam traps, bots, moles and others can be a serious liability. It can open you up to potential litigation and fines. You may have heard of the Publishers Clearing House Lawsuit? If you haven’t they are known for their “You may have already won” marketing line. It has been hit with a class-action lawsuit because their email messages were misleading people into believing they would have a better chance of winning prizes if they purchase services from their firm.
According to Mediapost, “The complaint alleges that Publishers Clearing House uses such personalized subject lines and headers as:
• Deposit of (Recipient’s name) Prize Number Must Be Accepted!
• Payment Transfer Notice Alert- Authorized
• (Recipient) will Become the Immediate Owner
• Office of the Controller: Funds Authorized for Release on 10/13
• Less Than 5% of Our Members Will Receive This Recipient)
The point here is that misleading or erroneous email content is enough to get your campaign labeled as Spam or Scam, and your chances of hitting your audience’s inbox will disappear. Improper email practices can lead directly to –
Loss of Reputation
A poor company reputation can come down to something as simple as poor email practices. It is obvious that disorganized, and misspelled emails will make you less credible. Even sending to an email list you have had no contact with will dramatically affect your reputation. If you send duplicates, or misspelled addresses, it can be a huge red flag to customers that you are not organized. If you’re continuously making these same mistakes day by day it could lead to opt-outs, unhappy customers, and potential blacklistings if you hit spam traps. This will then lead to a decrease in your sender reputation, and in your deliverability rates. In the end you will lose out on potential revenues from emails that never reached their intended recipients all due to poor email practices.
Be sure to follow best email practices in order to drive revenues and to create better overall email campaigns that your customers will be happy with. The power of Email Verification and Multi-Method Email Hygiene can save you money, time and headaches down the road.
Webbula – Expert Marketing Solutions
Be sure to take a moment to check out these other helpful Intelligence Reports: