Email Address Guardianship: Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway?Last week’s headlines about the massive theft of 53 million email addresses from Home Depot seems the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to 2014’s barrage of data breaches. The year has seen a veritable flood of hacks and breaches at retailers (Target, Best Buy, eBay) restaurants (PF Chang’s, Subway) and even financial institutions (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America). The verdict is clear: no data protection system is foolproof, and when it comes to data theft there is no sacred ground – hackers will take all the personally identifiable consumer information (PII) they can get.
You’ve probably heard the familiar saying “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. All too often I hear from many marketers and business owners who find themselves in this unfortunate position when either just starting their email marketing programs or trying to build their lists. This month’s email marketing conundrum explores the problem of how to begin sending to a “never-been-emailed” list, especially if it contains email addresses that may have been obtained without clear permission or were gathered offline such as from business cards, membership lists you have access to, contest entry forms, prize drawings at events, LinkedIn, etc.
Thankfully, the days of silo-ed email marketing run by two techies hunched in a shared cubicle wedged into a forgotten corner far from the marketing department are largely over at most companies. However, marketing email can still suffer from "forgotten stepchild syndrome" when it comes to design.It's a fair enough question: "Should my email creative match the design/look/feel of my company's website?" Ideally yes, provided your website was created or at least had a face lift in the last few years. (If it hasn't been touched since 2002, that's a different story.) But in general, yes, from a creative standpoint your email marketing messages need to be included in your digital family.