Resolutions belong to the New Year like fireworks and cava, but most of the time they remain what they are – just resolutions – and are never consistently put into practice. The Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) has come up with 10 resolutions for the year 2020, which you should definitely stick to, at least if you want to run successful email marketing campaigns in the coming year and rely on a trusting relationship with existing and future customers.
A valuable asset: high-quality address lists
Make sure that you only include addresses which you have legally generated in your mailing list, from people who you know want to receive your information and whose consent you can prove at all times.
This not only gives you legal security, but also protects your reputation and builds trust with your customers. A small mailing list with high-quality addresses is better than a large mailing list with addresses from perhaps questionable sources. In any case, use the double opt-in (DOI) procedure. In case of doubt, you must be able to clearly prove at any time that you have the consent of every person to whom you have sent an email. And by using DOI, you are always on the safe side.
Be open and honest, even when it comes to attracting new subscribers to your newsletter. Say what you want in clear and understandable words; do not “hide” your request for advertising consent. The addressee will notice at the latest when they receive a newsletter that they did not consciously request and will then just unsubscribe angrily – or even worse – mark your email as spam.
Careful – Trap!
Don't fall into the trap. If you send an email to a spam trap, your reputation as a serious sender suffers and you quickly end up on a blacklist. Stay clean and maintain your address lists regularly and carefully. Remove inactive addresses from your lists immediately and don't send to old addresses that you haven't used for years.
If your email service provider (ESP) offers the option to use a feedback loop, then do so! You will then receive feedback from your provider about addressees who have classified your email as spam or junk. This also helps you with maintaining list hygiene but, of course, only if you remove the relevant addresses from your list immediately.
Caution with lotteries
If you co-sponsor a lottery or competition in order to generate addresses: Make sure that the number of sponsors is small (max. 8) and that you have access to the addressees’ declarations of consent at all times.
Keep your word
Stick to agreements: If you have consent to send a newsletter about fashion, don't send car ads. If there is already a customer relationship with the addressee for a specific product, make sure that you only send them information about the same or similar products. In other cases, only send advertising for products or services that are mentioned in the declaration of consent. Avoid using “woolly” industry terms such as “finance and insurance” or “mail order” in the declaration text.
Law is law
Adhere to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Always. Not only because you are now threatened with heavy fines for non-compliance, but also because a breach of the law endangers your good reputation and the trust of your customers. If you meet the criteria of the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) and are certified there, you are largely on the safe side, also with regard to the GDPR.
Don’t be a phish
Protect yourself and your brand from being misused for phishing. Use the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC standards when sending your emails. With the help of Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) you can make your emails clearly recognizable for a mailbox provider and at the same time determine how they should handle emails that allegedly originate from you. As a result, phishing emails can be reliably detected and filtered before they reach the recipient and cause possible damage to your customer.
It’s the content that counts
If you know your customer's expectations and provide them with exactly the content they want to read, you have already taken a big step towards conversion. At what point in the customer journey is the addressee of my newsletter at the moment? How do I address them? What information is relevant and interesting? Relevance creates interest, binds existing customers, and generates new ones.
If you stick to the above-mentioned good intentions, (almost) nothing stands in the way of successful email marketing. But – wait – there is still a tenth resolution:
Last, but not least: The CSA Email Summit
Visit the CSA Email Summit 2020 from April 22 - 24 in Cologne, Germany. Over three days, marketing experts, computer educators, and executives from more than 15 countries will discuss new developments in the email industry. Here you will learn first-hand what makes a good email, how to protect yourself and your brand from misuse, and how to maintain the trust of your recipients. For more information about the Summit, click here.
Julia Janssen-Holldiek became part of the CSA team in 2014 and Director in 2017, and is passionate about creating and enabling quality standards for commercial emailing. Prior to the CSA, she worked for several years in Marketing and Sales at Dell. Julia studied business administration at the University of Cologne and the Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires.