A Common Misconception about Email Marketing

no spam!
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A guest post from Emily Goodyear

Email Marketing = Spam

The biggest misconception that we in the email marketing industry have to deal with is that all email marketing material is spam, junk and rubbish. The marketing industry is one of the biggest employers in the UK and email marketing makes up a significant proportion of this. The DMA continues to monitor best practice guidelines and membership is a good measure of reputable companies in the industry. Cowboys that fail to adhere to white hat techniques tarnish the reputation of companies that strive to maintain direct marketing regulations.

The key to email marketing behaviour is OPT-IN ONLY. There are three main strands to this rule.

  • All data must actively opt in to receive promotional material.
  • There must be clear places on the top and bottom of all emails to allow subscribers to opt out if they so wish.
  • If subscribers do wish to opt out, they should be able to do so and then never receive marketing material from you again.

Consumers so often sign up to websites in order to receive discounts or something that they want at the time but they forget that they’ve done this or quite possibly don’t realise what they have signed up for in their haste to get something in return for it. This is something that email marketing companies need to bear in mind; not all consumers sign up with a full understanding of what they will receive.

Email marketing companies should make it as easy for the consumer as possible to either click through to the result they are after, or to opt out of receiving email campaigns. Placing opt-out buttons at the top and bottom of emails ensures that the option to do so is clear and simple to carry out.

After all the hard work of gathering data and building a varied database of consumers, it may seem contradictory to make it easy for consumers to remove themselves from your list but long term, the benefits are far superior.

Think about it – is it better to market to a smaller number of responsive, interested recipients that will consistently engage with your emails and even provide information about their spending habits and behaviour, or to a huge list of recipients who will get annoyed by your consistent messages, not click through and start to have a negative (as opposed to neutral) view of the brands you represent?


Emily Goodyear is the PR & Marketing Officer for email marketing specialists, WRM-Media. WRM-Media offer marketing lists internationally with the majority of their business in English speaking countries, particularly the UK, US, Australia and South Africa. The majority of their 24 million email addresses are collected from websites: www.Who-Remembers-Me.com, www.WRM-Surveys.com and www.WRM-Dating.com.

WRM-Media data is available for list rental and Emily is able to guest blog for blogs relating to email marketing, SEO, Analytics and other relevant topics.

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.


  1. A pet peeve of mine are the sites where you have to log-in to unsubscribe, often using long forgotten details, that then require Lost Password emails.

  2. I am constantly being ‘subscribed’ to e-mails newsletters ranging from Tents to Latin American Affairs in North West London (and the unsubscribe doesn’t work on that one). Grrr!

    When I first started my newsletter, The Low Carbon Agenda, I did put a couple of hundred personal contacts on the first mailing list and that edition made it clear why I had added them and how to unsubscribe (no-one did). Now my favourite way of boosting readership is to offer to collect cards at the end of talks and workshops.

  3. What a shame that WRM Media don’t follow these practices themselves!!

  4. Such a shame you couldn’t put a name to your comment to give it a bit more clout 🙂

  5. I’d still be wary of adding people to your list without their express permission – it only takes a couple of people to label you as a spammer to get you in trouble with your ISP

  6. Yep, that annoys the hell out of me too!

  7. Anonymous – everyone on WRM-Media’s database has actively opted-in to receive promotional material from them and carefully selected partners. The opt out service involves one click, on banners either at the top or bottom of emails, which then permenantly removes subscribers from the database. If you have had problems with the unsubscribe service, WRM will, as always be more than happy to speak to you in person and place you on the block list.
    I hope you liked the blog post all the same 🙂

    WRM-Media – 01924 229 200

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