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Is your business about to dive into email marketing? Here’s how you can do it right

A consumer survey conducted in 2023 by Salesforce has revealed that upto 71% of consumers would be loyal to companies that deliver better, faster services and, upto 65% will stay loyal if the company offers a more personalised experience. Thus the mandate given by consumers seems to be quite unambiguous, i.e, they want businesses to offer more personalised services and experiences.  With over 60% customers reporting they expect companies to reach instantly with the most up-to-date information when transferring across departments. (Source)

However, before businesses rush off to collect all the data they possibly can off their customers, they need to be mindful of certain ethical considerations. This is backed up by the survey with 76% of consumers saying that companies need to ensure data security and minimise privacy concerns.

 Not only will businesses lose consumer goodwill if consumer privacy is not respected, they’ll also paint a target on their back for legislators, who since the launch of the GDPR have been keeping a closer eye on how businesses conduct themselves on the internet.

Thus there is a sweet spot businesses need to hit where they collect enough data to give customers a personalized experience and services, but not to the point where they violate their privacy. 

Here are a few points businesses should keep in mind while formulating their data collection policy:

  • Permission and Consent: Obtaining explicit permission from recipients before sending them marketing emails is a fundamental ethical principle.This will ensure that individuals are not receiving unwanted or unsolicited emails. Consent should be informed, clear, and freely given, and individuals should have the option to opt out at any time.
  • Transparency and Disclosure: Marketers should be transparent about their identity and intentions when sending emails. This includes providing accurate sender information, clearly identifying the purpose of the email, and disclosing any affiliations or relationships.
  • Data Privacy: Collecting and using personal data for email marketing purposes requires compliance with data protection laws, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CAN-SPAM Act. Marketers must handle personal information responsibly, provide clear information about data usage, and give recipients control over their data.
  • Unsubscribing and OptOut: Providing a clear and easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from email communications is essential. Honoring unsubscribe requests promptly is an ethical obligation, and marketers should not continue sending emails to individuals who have opted out.
  • Targeting and Relevance: Sending relevant content to recipients based on their preferences and interests is more ethical than bombarding them with generic or irrelevant emails. Personalization should be done in a way that respects individual privacy and preferences.
  • Frequency and Timing: Spamming recipients with excessive emails can lead to frustration and irritation. Striking a balance in terms of email frequency and sending emails at appropriate times shows respect for recipients’ time and attention.
  • Monitoring and Compliance: Regularly monitor the effectiveness and impact of your email marketing campaigns. 

Ensure that you are complying with relevant laws and guidelines, and be open to making changes based on feedback and evolving ethical standards.

In conclusion, businesses need to keep the above mentioned points in mind, when crafting a data collection policy, through which they can hit the sweet spot of offering their customers personalised services and experiences but, ethically.