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Today is our third and final installment in our email marketing basics. Soon we’ll go into more detail about different types of campaigns, but I hope that these 3 posts give you the basics to get started. If you missed the first two posts, read 5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes and 3 Ways to Create and Grow Your List. Today I am going to cover a few of the laws and best practices about email marketing. Not following these laws and best practices can see your company served with a lawsuit. While most anti-spam lawsuits have sided with email marketers, lawsuits are still expensive and time consuming to defend.

So what can you do to make sure you don’t find yourself in your lawyer’s office or have your emails blocked?

Include an unsubscribe link at the top of your email

While this may sound a little counterproductive to your goal of marketing to as many people as possible, it’s not. The top action you don’t want a recipient to take is marking your email as spam. Email providers keep track of emails that their users mark as spam, if you get too many spam complaints your email can be blocked. With more customers and businesses using email solutions from Microsoft and Google, being blocked by either can have a major impact on your email campaigns.

Don’t buy email lists from third parties

This is a really big one.  When you are first starting out with your email marketing you want to grow your list as quickly as possible.  A huge mistake companies often make is purchasing a list of emails.  Unless the recipients of your email opted-in to receive your email marketing, don’t add them to your list.  By growing your list organically, you can provide proof of opt-in plus have a higher quality list than if you purchased emails.

Respect unsubscribes

It should go without saying, but if someone unsubscribes from your email list or request that you remove them you must unsubscribe them. By not respecting unsubscribe requests you open yourself up to being marked as spam, blacklisted by mail providers, and suspended by your email marketing platform.  Any of these situations can be detrimental to both your email marketing campaigns as well as your company’s reputation.

By following these 3 tips your email marketing campaigns can be incredibly successful.  A recent study by reveals that the average business sees $40 in revenue for every $1 spent on email marketing, making it one of the highest ROI marketing channels.