Ryan Allis



Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

I’ve spoken at length about what to say in your email messages to make your company more attractive to your potential customers. I have also discussed ways to improve the look and feel of your messages to give them a more professional appearance. These best practices will help you maximize your email marketing campaigns, raise your subscriber base and increase your overall sales.

What we haven’t talked about yet, at least directly, is what you should not do with your email newsletters. Ron Evans, the President of Great Big Noise, LLC, wrote an article called “The Eight Deadly Sins of Email Marketing.” In the article, Evans states that a violation of any of the following rules could result in “anti-marketing” for your company. Here are the first four “deadly sins” for email marketing, which deal mainly with test messages and unsolicited emails:

    • Don’t send test messages to your entire email list. While this may not lose you many customers initially, it can be very embarrassing for you and irritating to your subscribers.
    • Don’t send MULTIPLE test messages to your entire list. After making the mistake once, sending multiple test messages to your whole subscriber base will make your business appear unprofessional. In effect, your customers may lose trust in your company, and may simply delete your future emails.
    • Don’t send test messages with unprofessional text, just in case you do send the message to your entire list. Imagine the negative impact on your business if your customers read a test message you sent accidentally with unprofessional or obscene text.
    • Don’t send out giant, untargeted “spam” emails. You could call this the cardinal sin of email marketing. Not only are spam emails an annoyance to everyone that receives them, they’re also against the law set forth in the CAN-SPAM Act. In helping to fight the battle against spam, iContact has a zero-tolerance spam policy for our own customers, and we terminate those customer accounts that have sent out spam mailings. iContact is a permission-based email marketing tool that adheres to the strictest permission-based philosophies.

      As Evans says at the end of his article, email marketing can be an incredibly effective tool, but only when used correctly. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back in the next few days with the remaining “Deadly Sins of Email Marketing.”

      Cheers,

      Ryan Allis

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