Guidelines for Bulk Email Marketing
Although the use of bulk email can on occasion be in the interests of your Company, it can nevertheless present real problems and dangers.
Sending email to large numbers of people is often a part of business. However, unless carefully used and managed, such mail can cause considerable annoyance. Complaints about unsolicited bulk email may lead to email from your Company address being blocked across parts of the internet, and in extreme cases the prosecution of the originator of unsolicited bulk messages and the Company being sued for damages. The following guidelines are intended to assist our customers who need to send bulk email achieve a balance between getting needed information to an appropriate audience and causing annoyance.
In particular, senders should be aware that:
· Bulk email can cause problems to the underlying mechanisms and storage: a copy of a message sent to a mailing list can be kept for each recipient
· Email is not immediate and messages sent to large lists can be slow
· Irrelevant or inappropriate email, whether sent to individuals or mailing lists, interferes with work and often has a negative effect
· Messages that are not sent in plain text are not readable by all recipients and will often be discarded
· Unsolicited email is mail that the individual did not request, irrespective of whether it is welcome.
· Bulk email is essentially identical mail sent out to groups of above ~100 individuals, irrespective of whether this is done by repeated sending’s or a single sending.
· Mass bulk email is the same, but for greater than 1000 individuals.
The collection of personal email addresses constitutes the handling of personal data and is subject to the Data Protection Act.
Under what circumstances may I send bulk email?
If it can be shown that a particular instance of bulk email is appropriate, notwithstanding the guidelines above, the following additional guidelines should be applied to the composition and transmission of email messages intended for bulk distribution.
· The email should be legible on the most basic of equipment. It should not require recipients to use specialized software or hardware to read it. In particular it should be wholly in plain text and not encoded in any way and no part of it should be in a proprietary format. For example, it should not be assumed that all recipients can read MSWord files or HTML email messages.
· The message should be short, perhaps a page at most.
· If the object is to draw attention to bulkier material or material inherently in other formats, then references to this (e.g. URLs) can be included. This does not override the preceding two points.
· The message as a whole should make it clear that it is a circular, and should make plain why it has been sent to the recipients.
· Information contained in the email headers should be set to ensure that no replies are accidentally sent to the whole constituency. For example, the REPLY TO field should be set to an email address intended to be used for receiving replies to the message.
· If the constituency is large it may well be appropriate to take special steps to minimize the logistical impact. It is always the responsibility of the sender to verify that the underlying systems can cope with what he or she wants to do.
· Delivery failure reports must be acted upon. In each case the email address concerned must be removed from the mailing list, whether that is automatically or manually maintained.
Under what circumstances is bulk email a bad idea?
Bulk unsolicited email is frequently counter-productive and can generate considerable annoyance. The utmost caution and reluctance should precede any emission of bulk email.
It is unacceptable to do anything likely to invite external retaliation (such as black-listing) against your Company.
Although an individual may have implicitly agreed to receive certain bulk email by membership of a particular mailing list, or by virtue of a position they hold, caution is needed in any such presumption. Agreement to receive mail inappropriate to a list is never implied, and similarly appearance in some email directory does not imply assent.
It is unacceptable to send email in volumes that could overwhelm the underlying mechanisms, be this on account of the number of ultimate targets, volume of data transmitted, volume of data consequentially stored or anything else.
To find out more on how to effectively use Email Marketing to attract more leads for your business, visit the website.
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