Building an E-newsletter List? Make Sure You Are CAN-SPAM Compliant

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Have you ever felt burned by getting a piece of mail from your bank, cable company or insurer whose envelope blared “Important Account Information Enclosed”? You know the outcome: You opened the envelope, that “important information” turned out to be an ad.

Translate that print tactic into untold millions of e-newsletters in distribution, and you will understand why the CAN-SPAM business compliance guide was created.

Email a Powerful Attraction Tactic

Even in an age of Facebook “likes” and Twitter “tweets,” email and e-newsletters — when handled right — continue to be a robust tool for marketers.

  • According to 2011 statistics published by Exact Target, 42 percent of subscribers are more likely to purchase from a company whose emails they subscribe to.
  • The other side of that coin? Content Marketing Institute notes that the e-newsletter open rate can go as low as 8 percent, with monthly newsletters averaging in the low-20 range.

So the audience making up your e-newsletter lists needs to be one you screen carefully — those on your list should be the people most likely to find your information valuable enough to subscribe and to read at least occasionally with few opt-outs. If you use purchased e-newsletter lists, ensure they are from reputable sources consisting only of “opt in” subscribers.

Keeping Out of Trouble

Once you’ve identified an audience to invite as subscribers, you must establish an acceptable template for your message. Just a few false moves, and your carefully crafted e-newsletter could end up in the spam folder.

CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003) establishes standards for commercial email, including e-newsletters. It spells out what you can and cannot say, and sets penalties for violations.

Under the CAN-SPAM rules, for example, you are required to:

  • Identify the nature of your message as an e-newsletter.
  • Tell recipients where you are located. Your e-newsletter must include both an email return address and a valid physical postal address.
  • Tell recipients how they can opt-out of your e-newsletter, and honor their request within 10 business days.

Conversely, the CAN-SPAM law prohibits:

  • False or misleading header information. In other words, the “To,” “From” and “Reply to” headers must accurately identify the person or company initiating the email.
  • Deceptive subject lines. No false promises, “gotcha” wording or other text that doesn’t reflect on the actual content of the e-newsletter.
  • Sending through an open relay or using harvested email address (both examples of technology that allows spammers to find and use lists).

And of course, the CAN-SPAM act requires you to truthfully describe any products or services you are offering for sale in your e-newsletter — and if you are positioning this information as an ad, you must identify it as such.

How to Attract More Subscribers

Subscribers can quickly become un-subscribers, so identifying and attracting new audiences is an important part of your e-newsletter strategy.

How can you encourage people to opt-in?

  • Promote your e-newsletter on your website’s homepage. Keep a colorful sign-up icon near the top of the screen, as you can never rely on visitors scrolling all the way down.
  • Invite new customers to subscribe. If someone makes a purchase through your website, follow it up with an email invitation to the newsletter. You can use the same tactic with visitors who leave contact information on your landing page.
  • Include a “send to a friend” link on every e-newsletter to encourage forwards from subscribers.
  • Promote your e-newsletter on your social media pages; include sneak-peeks of articles or offers that subscribers will find in the newsletter.
  • Offer a free gift to new subscribers. It can be a special deal or item associated with your business, or something general, such as a drawing for an iPad. (However, all giveaways and drawings must be “no purchase necessary” in nature and something anyone may enter.)

Test and Test Again

The way you handle your e-newsletter lists may change once you see how many people opt-in and opt-out of their subscriptions. As with most forms of web marketing, e-newsletters can benefit from testing and measuring results to create the ideal marketing tool for you.

USPS Service Interruptions to Greece

Update on Mail Services to Greece

On November 6, 2020 the United States Postal Service received notice from Greece that effective November 7, 2020 a lockdown will be implemented throughout the country of Greece due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a direct impact on collection and delivery of mail and packages sent through the Hellenic Post (ELTA).

This update impacts Priority Mail Express International, First-Class Mail International and First-Class Package Service, Priority Airmail. Surface Air Lift and M-Bag items.

For a full list of international service disruptions please visit https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm

More Shopping Carts Now Interface Directly with Our System

We’ve created a collage of the logos of the shopping carts that our fulfillment management software now interfaces with. These new enhancements give you more options. Here are the details.

1. Once connected to our system, orders in your shopping cart are automatically sent to Medallion’s system with no intervention on your part. It’s all automatic!

2. The automatic connection sends back inventory data to your shopping cart interface updating your on-hand counts; allowing you to better manage your ordering and inventory.

3. Shipping data from our system flows back into your shopping cart allowing customers to monitor their order status and for you to know exactly when items have shipped. It’s all automatic!

Isn’t it time for you to take another look at Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics? Call us today for a free account review.

Looking for a Reliable, Cost-Effective Service Partner?

Don’t let rate increases or poor service handcuff you to your old fulfillment provider. With Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, you have scalable options that grow with your business. You can rely on our more than 29 years of experience providing sellers with efficient and cost-effective fulfillment services to understand your warehouse and fulfillment needs.

Online Selling Tips for Promoting Your Products on Google Shopping

Important News and Reminders for January

With platforms dedicated to product feed and promotions, Google Shopping aims to simplify business for online merchants. The program is also tightly integrated with Shopify, a hugely popular e-commerce platform.

But don’t expect to set up Google Shopping and sit back while orders flow into your fulfillment warehouse. You’re at the mercy of Google Shopping’s control unless you take some proactive steps to optimize results.

Here are six expert tips for ways to get the most bang out of your Google Shopping buck and truly keep your fulfillment warehouse busy filling orders.

Optimize Your Website

• Are your product titles consistent with manufacturer listings?

• Does your own brand use titles with high search volume keywords?

• Is your page content unique, or do you simply copy-and-paste from other websites?

Add Negative Keywords

The word “negative” automatically sounds counterproductive, but this is an essential factor in your promotional strategy. When you enter negative keywords into Google Ads Shopping Campaigns, they keep your ad from showing for untargeted traffic you do not want.

Clicks without conversions do nothing but cost you money. Proper use of negative keywords helps assure that your ads will get in front of people who have a genuine interest in your product or service.

Segment Your Google Shopping Campaigns

Your products don’t all sell at the same rate, so why should they all get equal amounts of your promotional budget? If everything goes in the same bucket, it’s difficult to tell which items are the most profitable.

When you segment campaigns, you get more specific data that lets you compare the individual performance of different items. Suggested categories include:

• Price

• Brand

• Best sellers

• Seasonality

Bid Strategically for Activity

Cost per click, or CPC, is another factor that should not be cookie-cutter. A good rule of thumb is to divide the price of a product by its profit margin, then multiply that number by the standard conversion rate. (According to SmartInsights, average conversion rates are 3.73 percent for traditional devices and 1.14 percent for mobile devices.)

Make Sure to Adjust Bids for Mobile Devices

As noted in the previous tip, there’s a significant spread between conversion rates for desktop and mobile. Google Shopping does allow you to set separate bids for mobile so that your budget is concentrated in the area that’s most productive.

Understand as you set your bid, that sometimes the first clicks you get during a path to a sale may be on a mobile device and the conversion may be on a desktop. Bid down mobile too far and you may cut your conversion activity.

Set Up Remarketing Campaigns

Based on the average conversion rate, it’s clear that even the best campaigns capture only a minority of shoppers. What’s more, only two percent of those conversions are captured on the first visit! When visitors drop off, re targeting these visitors with a remarketing campaign keeps your message in front of those prospects for up to 30 days.

Medallion: Your Full-Service Fulfillment Warehouse

Just as online marketing campaigns are not one-size-fits-all, a great fulfillment warehouse should be able to accommodate your individual specifications.

At Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, we consider ourselves a partner in your success. Our services are flexible enough to scale up or down to fit your requirements.

Contact us today to learn why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics is the right solution for your fulfillment warehouse needs.

Should You Drop the Prices of Items Potential Customers Left Sitting in Your Shopping Cart?

History of eCommerce

Online marketing is aimed at leading a customer to complete the sales cycle by making a purchase that goes to your fulfillment warehouse for processing. Fourth quarter 2017 reports show that more than three-quarters of shopping carts are abandoned before check-out,leaving a number of opportunities for conversion.

Many of these shopping carts are abandoned because the user is simply at the browsing stage. What can you do to improve the closing rates of customers who ultimately change their mind about a purchase? One strategy that’s caused some debate in the online marketplace is the idea of dropping the prices of items left sitting in a shopping cart.

Solving the Riddle of Abandoned Shopping Carts

The number one reason given by customers for abandoning shopping carts is that the additional costs, such as shipping and sales tax, were too high. It stands to reason that lowering the actual price of the item would offset the other charges and make the purchase more attractive.

Some larger companies have used a method in which abandoned items are added to a customer’s wish list. On future visits, the consumer is notified if the price of that item has gone down.

eBay: One Company’s Experience

Last month, eBay sent a letter to their sellers encouraging them to reduce the price of items left behind in online carts in an effort to close the sale. Not surprisingly, the missive generated some strong reactions on both sides of the issue.

Interestingly, one eBay seller took the opposite strategy and raised the price on abandoned items on the basis that the shopper evidently had interest. The seller reports that out of four such items, two actually sold at the higher price.

Will Customers Game the System?

The biggest objection to lowering the price on abandoned items is that customers will catch on quickly and start deliberately leaving carts behind to trigger a price reduction. Online forums show that shoppers are discussing the issue and comparing experiences to get a sense of retailer strategies.

Tips for Closing the Sale

Instead of viewing abandoned shopping carts as a problem, consider them valuable feedback to help refine your sales funnel.

• State shipping policies up front. As previously noted, the cost of shipping and additional fees is the primary reason behind shopping cart abandonment. You may want to consider flat-rate or free shipping and absorb the difference into your selling prices.

• Make sure your checkout process is as uncomplicated as possible. Studies show that seven fields is the optimum number.

• If your site isn’t already optimized for mobile, do it now.

• Use a persistent shopping cart for a seamless experience.

• Offer multiple payment options. Financial transactions have moved beyond credit cards. Include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other digital payment forms.

First-Rate Fulfillment Warehouse Service from Shopping Cart to Final Delivery

A great online shopping experience shouldn’t end once the customer hits “Place Order.” Contact us to learn why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics should be your number one choice for quality e-commerce fulfillment warehouse services in the Los Angeles, California area and in the greater United States.