Sin City Presents Magazine July 2015 Volume 2 Issue 7 - Page 28

The music industry changes rapidly and a musician these days you have to wear a lot of hats to fill in the gaps that the labels leave open. This includes marketing your music. I touched briefly last month about owning your fan base and email marketing so this month I thought I would elaborate on compliance for email marketing. I know you’re probably thinking “I’m an artist not a marketer” but if you want to survive in today’s game you have to start thinking in the “inbox.”

Brief and to the point... there aren’t any short cuts you have to apply some common sense! If it's against your better judgment or your conscience tells you it’s not a good idea, it's probably not!

I’ve put together a list of 10 basic rules for e-mail marketing to get you started on the right path that can save you not only time, but even thousands of dollars in fines.... My First Rule! DO NOT OUTSOURCE!!! DO NOT BUY LISTS!! They do not follow the rules, nor do they follow federal and national laws and it will be YOU that suffers the consequences! Not only will they get away with your money, you'll be the one facing criminal charges and fines. I cannot emphasize enough, nor can I even begin to tell you how many people and businesses I have seen suffer the consequences even after multiple warnings to avoid this method of marketing.

1. Be Compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act

If you are sending “any electronic mail message, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” then you must comply with the following 7 main requirements (or face penalties up to $16,000)

Don’t use false or misleading header information

Don’t use deceptive subject lines

Identify the message as an adTell recipients where you’re located

Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future email from you

Honor opt-out requests promptly

Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

If your email contains only transactional emails or relationship content, then you are exempt from these rules; however, you must still not include false or misleading routing information.

2. Avoid Spam Trigger Words and Phishing Phrases

Unfortunately, there is no complete list of spam trigger words. Further, it is not always the case that your email will end up in the spam filter simply by using a so-called trigger word.

The key thing to remember is that a spam filter is trying to remove commercial advertisements and promotions. So generally, words that are common in such emails should be avoided or used sparingly.

Phishing emails are designed to steal your identity by getting you to click on a fraudulent link. The most common method is for the email to be disguised as a legitimate email from a service you trust, such as your bank or a website you frequent. Thus, you want to avoid using phrases that are common to phishing attacks.

3. Include a Text Version of Your Email if You Are Sending HTML Emails

This is a common, and easily preventable, cause for landing in the spam folder. Not only is this a good practice for avoiding a spam filter, but it also covers you in the case where the recipient cannot view HTML emails.

4. Use Permission Marketing Techniques

Seth Godin coined the phrase “Permission Marketing,” and offers his thoughts here. There you will find sound advice on the ideas behind getting your customers or potential customers to give you the permission to email. Take it a step further at the point of subscription and ask to be placed on their white list.