Avoid Black Hat Tactics in Your Email Marketing

Want to alienate your customers? Tick off your prospects? Ruin your company’s online reputation?

We didn’t think so!

Every business needs to market its products and services. But there’s a big difference between taking the high road (e.g., clearly communicating value, providing great content, creating an emotional connection) and engaging in unscrupulous “Black Hat” tactics to attract, engage and convert customers.

 What are Black Hat tactics?

As the name implies, these are unethical methods some businesses use to gain an unfair advantage in marketing. And, while they may create short-term gains (i.e., higher click rates or more web traffic), Black Hat tactics ultimately backfire; creating long-term negative repercussions that seriously damage your business.

Our advice? Take the high road!

Make sure you’re not inadvertently engaging in these Black Hat tactics and undermining your company’s success:

    • Black Hat email tactic 1: Replying to Craigslist alias emails to solicit a reply – and steal – a real email address. Yes, you need to build your email list, but it’s unethical to use false pretenses (i.e., appearing to be interested in their listing) to trick Craigslist users into giving you their real email address. A better option? Build your email list with a legitimate opt-in process.
    • Black Hat email tactic 2: Using an email “anonymizer” to spam recipients with massive email blasts. If the idea of sending an anonymous mass email sounds shady, that’s because it is. You should always clearly identify your company as the sender; otherwise, you run the risk of violating federal laws and suffering the consequences.
    • Black Hat email tactic 3: Using a foreign email server to send millions of emails. Fact: There is no server, anywhere on the planet, that federal agents can’t track. And if you search online, you’ll find horror stories where offshore operators have blackmailed businesses that use their servers, threatening to turn them in unless they pay up (yikes!).

Don’t even toe the line.

While these Gray Hat tactics are a bit less extreme, they’re just as unethical and destructive to your business:

    • Sneaking permission-granting language into forms in 4-point type
    • Adding business contacts to your email list without their express permission
    • Obscuring “unsubscribe” links to make opting out difficult

Partner with the good guys in marketing.

BARQAR is here to provide advice you can trust, and assistance with any aspect of your company’s marketing. Take the marketing high road and give BARQAR’s marketing experts a call today.


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