What do b-to-b marketers need to know about email privacy?

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As a b-to-b marketer, you are responsible for sending the right email with the right offer at the right time. To do this, you obsess over marketing segmentation based on both demographic and behavior attributes. You add a tracking code on your website to track a person's page visits. You purchase lists to append demographic and firmographic data. You even use social media to figure out your lead's professional or personal profile. Does this sound a little Big Brother-ish? It does to me, but it is necessary to align marketing messages with a lead's needs. Without this research, you begin to blast emails and can quickly enter SPAM territory. In this world of data overload, the line for digital privacy starts to blur. Here are some guidelines to help you ensure you are respecting your lead's privacy:
  1. Follow CAN-SPAM compliance. At the very minimum, every email you send should have a clear way for your leads to choose to opt out of your communications. Respect recipients' right to remove themselves from email communications.
  2. Tell them why you're emailing. Make sure you include a short sentence as to why your lead is receiving a certain message from you. For example: "You are receiving this email because you subscribed via our website, downloaded an asset or attended an event we sponsored."
  3. Know that numbers might not tell the whole story. If you use a marketing automation tracking code on your website, understand that some visitors use private browsing and their page visits will not get tracked.
  4. Include a privacy statement. Place one on your email or landing page to assure recipients that you will be responsible with their information. On an email, make sure this privacy statement is within the footer of the email. Use verbiage provided by your legal department.
Majda Anwar is a revenue engineer for revenue marketing agency Pedowitz Group. She can be reached at [email protected].
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