Issue concerning E-mail Appending
Starting life close to a decade and half back, e-mails are now part of everyday life akin to coke and chips. Irrespective of where you are in the world, you can send and receive communication at any time of the day provided you have the bare minimum gadgetry in place. We are so used to it now that the thought of going without checking our mails for a few days can make us feel breathless!
Besides making life easy and communication lightning fast, it has helped lower costs ridiculously. Postal departments in most countries have been rendered redundant in most cases as there is no need for quite a few of their services.
For a marketer, whether on-line or off-line, this has been a god-send. Forget issues surrounding printing and posting. Just a click and a wide swath of the population get updated with whatever one wants to communicate. Back then seriously, life could not be easier than this! In addition, people where-ever they were on the plant latched on to the medium like bees to a flower making it the choicest medium of advertising and marketing.
The basic requirement for any marketer vis-à-vis e-mail marketing was a correct e-mail address. Naivety and novelty meant that e-mail IDs were in the initial days given to marketers without much reservation. With time, came realization and reality when one either stopped using an ID which meant a bounce-back to the marketer or installed filters to stop bulk, mostly unsolicited e-mails later termed SPAM.
At the marketer’s end, if you were without e-mail ids or with insufficient numbers, it meant you approach an append service to use the latter’s data base. A reverse append which was the obvious outcome where similar sounding names and/ or similar addresses and telephone numbers were assigned an e-mail ID from the append service’s data base. A catch-22 situation followed where if things matched, you win but if it did not (which is a fairly high percentage), you could be taken to the authorities for infringing basic privacy rights.
Though the jury is still out on this one, marketers being marketers, have found ways to circumvent the issue of privacy be sending innocuous mails to e-mail IDs with a request to expressly give (or withhold) their consent to being approached with offers. For most legal eagles, this seems just an extension to the olden print days when fliers were sent to an address without checking the likely recipient has given his consent.
Another way to steer clear of any legal wrangles is to try and append e-mail IDs of only those entities whose complete address (which should be able to identify individuals and families) is available with the marketing organization. This way, one can still try and send pointed, specific e-mails instead of sending one e-mail for a common ID or otherwise shooting in the dark.
Additionally, what-ever be the condition(s), be ready to douse fires at the very onset instead of sleeping on it till the whole house burns down. E-mail recipients can additionally be rewarded for their time and efforts where they respond to your emails.
What-ever the means, remember you are dealing with an extremely versatile, agile and tested form of communication whose reach is immense and which the world knows how to handle.
To append is one’s choice but preference should ideally be given to generating data in-house. Append, if you need but through a known and reputed organization whose credentials are impeccable and who additionally helps you with SPAM, bounces and returns.