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Welcome to the SnapRetail Podcast! These bite-sized episodes will give you the email, social media, and website marketing advice you need to market your small business and get the most out of SnapRetail.  The information we present is delivered by our Customer Success Team, easy to understand, and Made for Main Street! 

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Jul 27, 2017

Email marketing best practices:

Be a responsible email marketer

Hosted by Justin Shoup and Vince Ventura

As an email marketer (yes, you are an email marketer!), there are rules, standards of ethics, and LAWS, you must follow when you send commercial emails - emails to your customers, clients, prospects, leads, etc.


First and foremost, make sure you are not spamming. The dictionary definition of Spamming is defined as sending unsolicited email to a large number of email addresses. However, there is much more to it. Let’s first start by talking about the laws that govern email marketing.


United States Can-Spam Act: According to the FTC webpage this establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. If you are a business in the US or are emailing recipients in the U.S. you need to follow this. Violations can result in a $16,000 fine.


  • You can’t be deceptive: Your From-Name, Email Address must be accurate and your subject line must accurately reflect the content of the email.


  • Tell recipients where you are located: Must include your physical post address - street address or registered PO Box.


  • Tell recipients how to opt-out (unsubscribe link) and honor unsubscribe requests promptly (within 10 days)


  • Fortunately, sending email through SnapRetail takes care of these things for you!


Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL): Must follow if you are a Canadian business OR you are emailing recipients in Canada. It is very similar to the US Can Spam Act with one major exception. It states that the law prohibits sending commercial messages without the recipient’s consent. Our terms of service also require that you follow this practice. Violations of the CASL can result in up to a $1 million fine.


That’s the technical definition and the laws that govern email marketing, but there really is more to it. Spamming essentially comes down to sending people emails or a frequency of emails they don’t want to receive. So, what can you do?


  • Set expectations up front. Be clear on what they are signing up to a receive. A weekly newsletter, daily offers, etc. Let customers know at the time of signup and the welcome autoresponder email. Don’t ever just obtain email addresses without it being clear to the owner of that email address that they will be receiving commercial emails from you.


  • Segment your list, so that you send customers emails they want to receive and that are relevant to them. You can segment by age, sex, past purchase history, open frequency, etc.


  • Use double opt-in. This is when a customer signs up for an email list and then receives an email after they sign up asking to confirm their sign up to the list and are not sent additional emails until they confirm. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the terms of service of most email marketing providers require that you maintain proof of consent. Double opt-in is the only true proof of consent. Keep in mind and don’t be alarmed though - at least 25% will never confirm.


  • Never ever purchase a list. Not only will this be against CASL, SnapRetail (and most of email marketing services) terms of service, but in most cases you will be throwing your money away. These lists tend to be full of spam traps, honeypots, and other old email addresses.


  • Monitor your unsubscribe rate. 1% to 2% is normal. If it is higher adjust your frequency and/or content.