ePrecision, Inc., Anti-SPAM Policy for ePromotion
At ePrecision, we take Spam seriously.
There is a huge cost associated with sending unwanted or unsolicited email. For small businesses the principal costs are poor reputation and lost revenue. For customers and prospects of small businesses, receiving unwanted or unsolicited email is not only frustrating and time consuming; it can also provoke negative reactions towards those who send it.
Likewise, there is a cost to processing and filtering unwanted and unsolicited email. This cost is placed squarely on the shoulders of the internet service providers (ISPs) and mail administrators that filter ‘spam’ from their users. With over 85% of all email traffic today considered “Spam” sent from individuals with malicious intent, there’s no wonder why ISPs condemn the sending of unsolicited email and employ complex filtering to protect their customers from it.
With email marketing it’s all about the recipients.
Remember, it’s the ISPs and recipients that control the email-marketing channel. Unlike many other marketing channels, recipients can easily react to email they don’t want. It’s as easy as hitting the “Spam” or “Junk” button, or forwarding the email to a third party blacklist. The result? If enough recipients report the mail they receive from a specific sender as unwanted or unsolicited, both the sender and ePromotion may be blocked from delivering mail in the future. That’s why ePrecision has a no tolerance spam policy. At ePrecision, we want all of our clients sending emails through the ePromotion platform that their customers want to receive.
What is Spam?
Spam, as applied to email, means “Unsolicited Bulk Email”. Unsolicited means that the recipient has not granted the sender affirmative consent (permission) to email them. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having materially similar content. Okay, so what does “affirmative consent” mean? The term “affirmative consent” means the recipient has expressly consented to receive the message, either in response to a clear and conspicuous request, or at the recipient’s own initiative.
Spam is an issue of consent, not content!
Spam has nothing to do with the content within emails (although there are some regulations around what can’t be sent, as well, ePrecision has a (Prohibited Content Policy). It’s all about whether one has obtained prior affirmative consent to send to their contacts.
Why is ePrecision so tough when it comes to Spam?
Our clients expect us to deliver their emails to their customer’s inboxes. Because of our commitment to only responsible mailing, we go to great lengths to monitor complaints, and other performance metrics to ensure there are no problems. Spam complaints, sending to old or non-existent addresses, and low engagement rates all have a negative impact towards the sender and ePromotion, which in turn may cause our mail servers to be blocked. If ePromotion gets blocked, every client and every customer suffers.
What happens if a customer receives a lot of Spam complaints or runs into compliance problems?
ePrecision’s Compliance Team is here to work with our clients, because ultimately their success is our success. If we identify a potentially problematic client not performing up to our standards, we’ll first ask a lot of questions. We’ll try and understand their business as well their marketing goals. We’ll talk about their messaging to try to uncover the root cause of the problem. We may also ask that they try different action plans to remedy the problem. Again, we want to help you be successful. But in certain instances, we’ll ask that a client find another service provider because our goals are simply not compatible.
How do I become a responsible mailer?
Getting emails delivered and avoiding being labeled a “Spammer” is vital to the success of small businesses. And while there are countless tips, tricks, and technical approaches that can be used, a simple focus on these four strategies will help a bunch:
- Gather contacts only using affirmative consent, (which our platform manages for you). As we’ve already learned, getting affirmative consent from your customers is the number one driver of success.
- Set proper expectations around content and frequency. For this reason, ePromotion limits the number of times that you can send emails to your customers per month. In most cases, this is two times per month – or every other week. Some clients may be able to email their customers four times per month – or once per week (optional). Less is truly more in email marketing. Too much email in a customer’s inbox will cheapen the value of your email, and will drastically reduce open-rates, which will hurt your reputation and ePromotion as a sender.
- Your contacts know exactly the type of content you’ll be sending, (your promotions), and don’t stray far from the course. Our double-opt-in process insures that your customers are aware of the content that you are sending them and they affirm, through our process, that they want you to send them your email promotions. Remember, it’s about them – not you.
- ePromotion’s double-opt-in process insures your list will only contain customers who affirm consent to receive your promotional emails. Our process let’s them know that our client’s will never send them email promotions more than 4 times per month.
Are there any laws against sending Spam?
Yes. In January of 2004 a federal anti-spam law went into effect in the United States. It’s known as the CAN-SPAM Act. This Act regulates, to some extent, commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. While this new law did not stop spam, it does make it illegal and ultimately less attractive to spammers. At Constant Contact, we applaud the CAN-SPAM Act, but view it as the lowest barrier to entry rather than the pinnacle to which marketers should strive. Because Spam is about consent not content, arguments that mail is CAN-SPAM compliant are often irrelevant.
There are also many other laws and regulations around the world surrounding electronic marketing. If you live or work in Canada, or mail to folks who do, you’ll want to be sure to collect and catalog express consent as outlined in the new Canadian Anti-Spam Laws (CASL). The ePromotion platform handles this for you.
While we can’t give legal advice, we encourage all senders to become familiar with these laws, especially if they live in or mail to recipients outside the US.
We require that each client understands and agrees to our permission-based “Terms and Conditions of Service”. In addition, because our double-opt-in process insures that all our client’s customers affirm their explicit consent, ePrecision does not allow client’s to upload their own lists. We must do this, to insure that all client’s are adhering to our strict, double-opt-in, affirm consent process. Bad, lists will damage the reputation of ePromotion, and ePrecision’s clients as senders.
ePrecision, Inc., and ePromotion is registered with major ISPs and anti-spam authorities to receive automated feedback loop (FBL) data when any of our client’s customers report abuse. We use this data, when warranted, to take corrective action.
We also utilize 3rd party technology to help identify potentially bad email addresses. Our platform verifies the authenticity of each email address before we import it into our database for you. Our technology makes sure that each email address that we import through our double-opt-in, affirm consent process, is a real, verifiable email address.
ePromotion automatically sends new contacts using our “Make Me a VIP” Mailing List feature an email confirming their interest in receiving emails from you. Additionally, if your contact changes his or her interests or unsubscribes to your emails.
Every email generated from ePromotion contains an unsubscribe link which allows your customers to opt-out of future emails and automatically updates contact lists to avoid the chance of sending unwanted emails in the future.
Your email header information is pre-set for you by ePromotion. Your email’s “From Address” is verified and accurately identifies you as the sender.
All of your emails are pre-filled with your contact information, including your physical address.
If you feel an ePrecision client is sending unsolicited email, you can report it to us by sending it to info@ePromotion.com. Each email is reviewed and cataloged by a member of the Compliance Team. In addition, we will investigate each complaint and may take appropriate action against the sender.