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Don't You Forget About Me

August 5, 2008  

In a post at the Bronto blog, DJ Waldow recounts receiving an email from Adam Gautsch entitled What's Cooking at OrangeCoat? While Waldow considered the subject line pleasingly catchy, he also thought the message was spam—and flagged it as such. Only after reading its preheader, which explained why he received the email, did he remember giving OrangeCoat permission to contact him—in 2006. "CAN-SPAM would not consider this to be spam," notes Waldow.

But if you've let months—or years—elapse in between broadcasts, there's a good possibility that your list will have the same knee-jerk reaction. "We—the consumer—determine whether or not an email is wanted, relevant, and timely," he says. "We—the end user—mark messages as spam/junk, not CAN-SPAM, certainly not the sender." Waldow argues that permission has an expiration date, and he offers this rule of thumb:

  • If you last sent an email to a subscriber 3-6 months ago, think before you send.
  • At the 6-month point, think hard.
  • Beyond that, he advises, don’t send.

Gautsch's response in the comment section acknowledges the time between messages was too long, and notes OrangeCoat's plans to make contact at least once every quarter.

The Po!nt: Keep in touch. If your subscribers have forgotten who you are, your permission-based campaign is as good as spam in a recipient's snap judgment.

Source: Brontoblog. Read the full post here.

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