Cybersecurity and privacy infringement are buzzwords in the online world. As a marketing company, generating leads ethically builds trust among clients and keeps you safe from negative consequences. As a practical matter, a direct email campaign is only as good as its mailing list.
Cybersecurity & Direct Mail Responsibility
Theft of email addresses has led to some pretty serious consequences for major companies. Many of them store client sensitive information in addition to email addresses, which is considerably more concerning. Right now, the best form of security is a proactive consumer. Nobody wants to be spammed because his email was accidentally released, and ethical direct mail marketing companies should not want to use stolen emails.
The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) believes that data-driven marketers and database providers should be the ones protecting information. They recommend that brands help clients and members of their mailing lists protect their information by raising awareness about security and developing plans for addressing a hack if their mailing list is ever compromised. Apart from the measures that members of the DMA take to secure the data they handle, the ethical compilation of email lists involves a few standards.
One way to ensure the integrity of an email list is to build it overtime, organically, rather than purchasing it. Building your email list has the added value of including a target market, which is more beneficial for conversion rates anyway. Use other online outlets and marketing strategies in addition to direct mail to convince users the email list is worth being included in. Opt-in and opt-out options should be clear, available, and honored. Free, downloadable content is another successful option for building an email list.
Avoiding Unethical Practices
The CAN-SPAM Act is the biggest deterrent to untargeted mass mailings, but merely following the letter of the law doesn’t encompass the entirety of ethical concerns about mailing lists. While the act has been considerably successful in weeding out traditional SPAM, it can also catch unwitting marketers who aren’t well versed in marketing ethics. A mailing may still be caught by monitoring services that run algorithms to search for potential SPAM messages. Once blacklisted, even unfairly, it’s difficult to come out from under the process of getting reinstated.
A rented list might be a better bet if you are looking for a fast way to increase your marketing lists. Rented lists come from firms that vet their audience with opt-ins to receiving information from affiliate companies. Purchased lists, on the other hand, can be gathered by programs combing the internet or any other means, and the information can come from anywhere.
A successful marketing strategy must involve mail marketing, and direct mail efforts have a host of appealing and rewarding benefits. It’s not enough to merely have an online presence anymore, and email and physical direct mailing provides a fantastic outlet to reach a wider audience. It’s cost effective, and building a mailing list ethically can improve ROI over time. To successfully manage a campaign, remember to look at the long-term goals rather than sending out quantities of information that may go straight to the trash.