Standards for More Effective Email

October 2004
by Marshall Chamberlain

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The Internet has to be the most effective information and marketing vehicle ever created, so it’s worth investing time to develop standards for the messages you send people who have shown interest in the subject or genre of your work, knowing in advance that a 100 percent nonspam goal is unrealistic. No matter how hard you try to be nonintrusive, you are bound to irritate some recipients, even when you restrict your messages to those who have demonstrated interest in what you have to say.

In general, communications over the Internet are not strictly regulated, but federal and state laws affecting spam are on the rise. Most people seem to favor controls, so it appears likely that changes in Internet operations, more robust consumer software, and new legal regulation will produce more control in the near future.

This article is a summary of concepts I believe worthy of consideration when attempting to design effective, nonintrusive email. No safe harbor exists, but the safest way to preserve a professional image and remain effective may be by giving away something of tangible value and/or presenting pertinent and important information to recipients screened for interest in your subject matter.

Besides that standard, I’ve outlined some form elements, drafting suggestions, and examples below that may help you create effective email messages that will escape the spam label.

Think business communications, not promotions; think helping, not selli…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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