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Spam Email

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:


Spam is the receipt of unsolicited email communication and bulk communication. Essentially, it is mails that you don’t want to get and that you never asked to receive, but which people are sending to you. And so you don’t want your emails to go into the spam folder, or to go into the junk folder.

Legal requirements

Let’s consider the legal requirements around spam.

  • Only email people who have opted in: Permission and choice are everything with your audience. You can only message those people who have said, “Yes, I wish to receive this content from you and your organization and your business.”
  • Provide an opt-out mechanism: Let people let go. Let them say, “Okay, maybe I’m not interested now. Maybe I never was really that interested, and I just want to opt-out. I want to say goodbye. I want to unsubscribe.” And what I find is a lot of companies make this really difficult to do when in fact, you don’t want readers on your list who don’t want to be there. You want to let people leave. Let people unsubscribe as easily as they could subscribe, because that will make your list much richer and much more legitimate than if you have a bunch of people who just weren’t able to unsubscribe who are trapped on your list.
  • Make that opt-out process instant: Perhaps you have subscribed to an email list, tried to unsubscribe, and received a message that said something akin to, “This will be processed in two weeks’ time or three weeks’ time.” And you’ve wondered there is a physical process, some sort of actual lever or a cog that must be moved to make this happen. Make it easy for people to leave. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe. Make it an instant process for them.
  • State the purpose of email: What are you all about? What are you trying to do? Just be open and honest. I think openness and honesty with email marketing is a massive part of what you’re going to be doing. And there’s a theme here you may have noticed around holistic aspects, transparency, authenticity. Again, state the purpose of your email.
  • Identify ads: Just be real with people. Let them know, “Hey, these are ads. These are put here for the purposes of selling you something.” Just identify it as sponsored or advertisement, and let people know so there’s no confusion. This helps ensure that you don’t get listed as a spammer.
  • Include a business address: Make way for the physical. Let people know where you’re located so that you don’t just exist in this vastness of digital space. Let people know where your business is located in the real world. That’s also important.

It’s important to look at those legal requirements, as well as things that are recommended. But I would start with this list of six things to definitely include when you’re operationalizing and creating your email marketing strategy.

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Eric Stoller

Eric Stoller is a Higher Education Strategic Communications Consultant and Blogger at Inside Higher Ed. With a background in student affairs, academic advising, wellness, technology, and communications, Eric educates clients and audiences on digital identity development. As a blogger, he generates conversations, answers questions, and provides insight about a variety of tech topics, including Social Media Strategies and Email Marketing.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate inbound and outbound email marketing techniques and how they are used in marketing campaigns
  • Critically reflect on practices for managing email data and building an email subscriber base
  • Critically appraise how to optimise email delivery and email open rates for marketing campaigns

    Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

    DMI Short Course: GDPR

    The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

    You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

    You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


      Email Marketing Strategy
      Eric Stoller
      Skills Expert

      The Email Marketing Strategy module will introduce the key concepts of email marketing and enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to build highly effective email campaigns. You will learn how to think like an email marketer and recognize that your subscriber list growth and quality is a key metric for the success of your campaign. Finally, you will recognize the role of various email delivery techniques as well as the importance of balancing frequency and volume of email sends.