Every single day we get bombarded with lots of spam emails, regardless of whether we gave our email address or not. So it’s not surprising that many people see online marketing as spamming. The line between the two is fine and bending, but the difference they make is huge. While a well-planned and executed internet marketing campaign can bring in new readers and customers to your blog, and keep the existing loyal to your business, spamming can be extremely damaging, risking to alienate both current and future buyers.
The most common internet marketing strategies include banners ads, email campaigns, and message board posts. Here’s how they stay advertising and not appear to be spam:
Clever marketing is when you place banner ads promoting your blog and business on few relevant websites that are likely to attract the audience exactly as or very similar to the one you target. When online readers see your ads all the time and everywhere they turn, they probably won’t take you seriously or buy from you as a result. Same goes for the ads you place on your blog pages. You don’t want your site to look like Times Square. The reason why people land on your pages is to get the information they search for, not to look at advertisements. So place them well, and be sure you’re not spamming and chasing the readers away.
Sending email newsletters, products and services information, discounts, advertisements, or short tutorials and courses, is a great way to keep your readers and customers close and the communication up and running. But only if the people receiving the emails have actually requested the additional info and are subscribed to your email list. Otherwise, harvesting their addresses in a deceptive manner and sending out mass emails is considered spamming, and you only risk losing your credibility, your accounts, the autoresponder, as well as conversion, as spam does not convert the way that a well-targeted welcomed email does.
To make sure spamming is out of the way, it’s best to use an opt-in form where blog visitors can leave their first name and correct email address to receive regular email communication. Single opt-ins are valid, but not as secure as the double opt-in option, since an unethical person can enter other people’s information as well without their approval. This is how a double opt-in protects you and your blog readers from spamming:
- First, users enter their name and valid email address in the subscription form. (Usually in exchange for a promise of information at a later date, a free download or other incentives)
- Then, the autoresponder automatically sends a verification email to the provided address, informing the user of the subscription, and asking her or him to confirm by clicking the link included.
- Only verified addresses will receive the emails you send, and if someone hasn’t really opted into your blog’s email list, they can easily decline the invitation or unsubscribe.
Please read how to start with email marketing, and how to attract more subscribers to your email list so you won’t be spamming anyone. Also check how to design your newsletters to get read regardless of the device people use, – laptop, tablet, or a smartphone.
Finally, message boards and forums are another great way to promote your blog and brand to an interested audience. But certainly not if all you do there is reply to every message with a link to your site or products and services, even when they have nothing to do with the conversation in place. That’s spamming. And if the members there start to look at you as a spammer they’ll avoid you and won’t click on the links you post. Instead, make sure to understand and follow the message board guidelines and only comment if you can be useful and contribute to the discussions.
How do you deal with incoming spam? Do you have suggestions on how to further improve our online marketing efforts? Tell us in the comments…