The news that a London clinic has accidentally revealed the medical status of over 750 patients via an administrative error in an email newsletter highlights once again why businesses should not use their email client - Outlook or Gmail - to send bulk emails or eNewsletters to to their client database.
We had our own experience of this only last week when an email newsletter containing details of all the upcoming events being run by our local Council experienced its own version of a human error.
The message displayed to all recipients the email addresses of everyone else on the list.
Just like the clinic in the news, this was followed by a second email trying to recall the original message.
Why Outlook's recall email feature doesn't save your blushes
When email marketing goes horribly wrong on Outlook, the sender will immediately try to recall the offending message. However, the success or failure of a recall depends on several things:
- the recipients' settings in Microsoft Outlook
- if they are using Outlook or another email client
- has the message already been read
If it's been read and left marked as read, you cannot recall it. If it has not been read or if it has been read and then marked as unread, you may be able to replace it with a different message.
Why an Autoresponder is essential for bulk emails and newsletters
If businesses use a proper Autoresponder - like Mailchimp or AWeber - to upload and store their database, they can send out bulk emails which look as if they have been sent individually with personalisation.
Having said that, care does need to be taken when any personalisation is set up. Today I received an email from another institution which began Dear Shaer... Addressing me by my surname as if I were at a male public school from the Fifties is not the best way to make me want to read on!
This type of free service also ensures that the email addresses of your list are kept hidden from anyone else on the list.
However, any reputable Autoresponder will also ask you if the owner of the email address you are trying to add has actually agreed to receive recurring emails from you. So don't go trying to upload a list that you have purchased or scraped yourself from the internet.
Most importantly, emails sent through these tools will display a simple option to click to unsubscribe at the bottom. You, as a business owner, can then be sure that you are following the strict criteria laid out for email marketing.
Why choose Hubspot for your Email Marketing
One of the reasons that we chose to sign up for Hubspot is because it does all the things an Autoresponder does plus give you a whole load more.
- displays great stats and simple reporting all in one place.
- helps you to nurture your leads into customers and to delight your customers into promoting your services to their contacts.
- puts all your inbound marketing in one place - from Keywords, SEO and Blogging through Social Media and Email Marketing.
- allows you to see how many people are visiting your website and how many are becoming leads by leaving their email address in return for a download of useful information.
- tells you when those leads are ready for a call from your sales team. No more cold calling.