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Is it just me, or do spammers take advantage of the good cheer that pervades our lives at Christmas time as an opportunity to increase their activities?

Over the last month or so, I have been receiving an increasing volume of unwelcome and unsolicited emails all sorts of exciting opportunities, products and of course a much better life. By definition, I have never dealt with these people in the past and as fast as I hit the unsubscribe button, I receive plenty to replace them.

I sometimes wonder whether hitting the unsubscribe button means that my email address is immediately added to another list and sold along with all the other poor unsuspecting unsubscribers.

While I support the use of emails and electronic communication as a marketing strategy, for legitimate businesses, you need to be aware of the impact of your email campaigns on your customers and/or potential customers. It is very easy to alienate your target audience if your email programs are too frequent or totally irrelevant; and of course ignoring unsubscribe requests is illegal and very damaging for your brand.

I am having an ongoing battle with one particular organisation that I did purchase from, was totally dissatisfied with the outcome and have since been attempting to unsubscribe from all marketing content without success.

I have included their various “senders” on my automatic delete function but they are somehow able to circumvent even that. I even contacted ACMA to lodge a formal complaint and although they followed it up with me, the end result is I still receive up to 10 emails in a week, advising me of forthcoming webinars! End of rant.

So, if you want to make sure that your email marketing campaign does not alienate legitimate customers, you need to think about the following:

1. This will depend on your type of business but giving your customers the opportunity to nominate frequency (eg, daily, weekly, monthly) will help you avoid this mistake. Of course, if you are providing a daily newsletter, then obviously your subscribers are expecting fresh daily content.

2. You need to make sure that your message is relevant to your subscribers otherwise your unsubscribe rate will increase. You might miss the mark occasionally, but making sure your message is useful is ideal.

3. You need to monitor the response you are receiving from your campaign (both positive and negative) as this is valuable feedback to enhance your marketing effort.
Emails can be a powerful marketing weapon when used properly, just don’t shoot yourself in the foot.