Your Email Marketing Campaigns Could Cost More Than You Think

Internet email.Email marketing can be an effective way to reach your target audience.

However, sending too many email messages to the wrong audience or even the right audience at the wrong time might not only be a waste of time and money, but it might also hurt future sales.

Furthermore, if you don’t comply with the current laws and regulations, your business could face penalties that can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

If Done Correctly, Email Marketing Is Very Effective

As a recent eMarketer article points out, email marketing is a very valuable way to reach your customers and prospects.

The article points out that a recent study conducted by The Relevancy Group found that US marketing executives believe that email alone accounts for nearly the same amount of revenues as all other types of digital advertising combined.

The same eMarketer article cites an Econsultancy study that found that email marketing was thought to provide excellent or good ROI by more agency marketers than any other channel. And, only organic search was thought to have excellent or good ROI by more client-side marketers.

These stats definitely suggest that email marketing works.

Spam Is in the Eye of the Beholder

As I pointed out in a post back in 2011, sending email to the wrong person or even the right person at the wrong time can have a negative impact on a customer’s perception of your business.

Also keep in mind, what you think is relevant and what your customers and prospects think is relevant can often be two very different things.

That is why measuring and testing the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts is so important.


If your business is just starting to explore using email marketing, there are rules and regulations that you need to be aware of.

In particular, you need to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which was signed into law on December 16, 2003 by President George W. Bush. This law established the United States’ national standards for sending commercial email and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A YouTube video released by the FTC provides examples of the guidelines email marketers need to follow in order to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.

These guidelines include requiring that you not use false or misleading header information or deceptive subject lines in your marketing emails. You must also clearly and conspicuously disclose that the email is an advertisement and the email must include your physical address.

The FTC video also points out that you must provide a way for recipients to opt-out of receiving future emails from your business. When someone contacts you to opt-out of your emails, you must delete them from your email database within 10 business days. Furthermore, once they unsubscribe, you can’t share their email address with any other marketers.

Finally, maybe the most important thing that they point out in the video is that you are responsible for complying with the law even if you hire a vendor to handle your email marketing efforts for you. Businesses that don’t comply with the law can face fines of up to $16,000 per violation.

Final Thoughts

Email is a very effective marketing tool if used correctly.

However, sending too many emails to the wrong people or to the right people at the wrong time can potentially have a negative impact on long-term sales.

Furthermore, it is absolutely necessary that you make sure that you are complying with the CAN-SPAM Act before you send out your marketing emails to customers and prospects.

If you use a vendor, be sure they are up-to-date on the current laws.

It is also in your best interest to check with a lawyer even if you are using a vendor to handle your email marketing. This will help ensure that your next email marketing campaign doesn’t cost you more than it’s worth.

Note: The information in the blog post is not legal advice. As just mentioned, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer to ensure that all your email marketing efforts comply with current laws and regulations, including the CAN-SPAM Act.

Photo credit: on Flickr.

Video credit: Federal Trade Commission on YouTube.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: