Weebly Promote FAQ
How do I use the Email Services responsibly?
Becoming a great email marketer takes some time and commitment. The Weebly Promote feature, is the first step to helping you become a great email marketer. Getting emails delivered and avoiding being labeled a "Spammer" is vital to the success of entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profit organizations. While there are countless tips, tricks, and technical approaches that can be used, a simple focus on these four strategies will help:
Gather contacts using affirmative consent and give them the option to unsubscribe.
Getting affirmative, express consent from contacts is the number one driver of success. Developing a strong and solid email recipient list is making sure that all recipients have expressly consented to receiving your emails. If you're an email marketer, make sure your contacts have indicated their desire to receive your emails. Don’t play games with implied consent or hiding your terms in the fine print. Sending emails to those who haven’t consented to receiving them is not a good way to do business, and in many countries it is illegal. Obtaining consent to receive emails should always be clear and distinct.
Many countries have laws on how to obtain consent (opt-in) when email marketing. Typically, you should be in compliance with both the laws of the countries from where you are sending emails, and the countries where your email recipients are located. For example, in the U.S., many states require that you provide an unchecked box or some other blank field for the email recipient to indicate their interest in receiving emails. A separate box or email field for "I would like to receive your marketing email" is a great example of how to obtain affirmative, express consent in the U.S. Canada, and many other countries (like those in the European Union) have more stringent laws and require “double opt-in”. Without getting too confusing, double-opt in means that you must send a confirmation email to your email recipient after obtaining express consent. In some cases, that confirmation email must even contain an additional link for the email recipient to provide express consent a second time.
The Weebly Promote feature provides you with the tools to help you be compliant, even in those countries with some of the strictest regulations. For example, if you plan to send marketing emails to recipients in countries that require double opt-in, you should use the confirmation email template provided for you, to obtain a second round of consent from email recipients. Use of this customizable, confirmation email template will help you to obtain the requisite affirmative consent from those recipients based in non-US countries. The confirmation email cannot contain any advertisements; its sole purpose is to obtain another round of consent.
You should also maintain records regarding when your contacts consented to receiving your marketing emails and retain copies of any confirming emails you send. Once again, the Weebly Promote feature does this for you. Weebly Promote has record keeping functions that run in the background to keep track of when your contacts consented and the emails you sent, so that you can quickly and easily obtain those records should you need them.
One of the most important parts of being a responsible email marketer is giving people the option to change their mind even after they have consented to receiving your emails. The law requires that you offer an unsubscribe link in each email you send, and it should be easy, clear, and only 1-step for a recipient to unsubscribe. Here again, the Weebly Promote feature already provides a solution for that! An unsubscribe link is included in each email footer that you send through Weebly Promote. If your email recipient chooses to unsubscribe, their email will be placed on an unsubscribe list and the date of their “opt-out” will be recorded and stored for you. Those recipients who have chosen to unsubscribe from your marketing lists will no longer receive emails. In most circumstances, unsubscribe requests will be honored instantly, but in some cases may take several days.
Set proper expectations around content and frequency.
Let your contacts know exactly the type of content you'll be sending and don't stray far from the course. No one likes being told they are only going to receive 1 email a month only to realize that you are sending 1 email an hour. You can do this by showing samples or providing copies of your emails, that way, recipients can decide if they're interested in the content or want to hear from you. Remember, it's about them - not you. Be open with your contacts about how often you plan to mail to them and stay true to your word. Over-mailing or not mailing frequently enough can cause problems. Letting your contacts know how often you plan on hitting their inbox will set proper expectations, and again, give them choice.
Make your communications relevant and engaging.
Email “engagement” is a common buzzword in the marketing industry today. It’s also a metric used by ISPs to help determine blocking or the placement of your email. If your contacts aren’t interested in what you’re sending, they'll be less likely to open future emails from you. In turn, low engagement may lead to your emails getting de-prioritized, delivered to the junk folder, or blocked entirely.
Make a conscious effort to send emails that are relevant to your contacts and that promote interaction. If you have the means, utilize technology to really understand what your contacts are interested in and target your messaging to those interests. Weebly’s Promote feature includes helpful email templates, which can help you create emails that look great and are engaging for your contacts.
Become a trusted and responsible mailer.
Success is often measured by your last email. Stay true to your collection methods and follow the expectations you set. Don't be tempted to deviate or get tricky. That includes making sure that you clearly identify yourself or your business as the email marketer and that the subject line of the email directly relates to the content of the email. To help you convey the proper information to your email recipients, the Weebly Promote feature provides you with fields to input your information. We’ve also incorporated optional fields to input additional information, if you are sending emails to geographies with enhanced requirements (e.g., the EU).
Short-term gains made by emailing to non-permission based lists or sending content that is different from what your contacts expect can come back to bite you. After all, it's your brand we're talking about here. Why risk ruining your business's reputation by deviating from responsible practices that will most likely annoy your customer base and drive business away? Our goal at Weebly is to provide you with the tools to help grow your business through successful email marketing.
Are there any laws against sending Spam?
Yes. In January of 2004 a federal anti-spam law (the CAN-SPAM Act) went into effect in the United States. This Act regulates, in part, commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. The law makes it illegal and ultimately less attractive to spam. At Weebly, we view the CAN-SPAM Act as the lowest barrier to entry rather than the pinnacle to which marketers should strive. Because Spam is about consent not content, arguments that mail is CAN-SPAM compliant are often irrelevant.
There are also many other laws and regulations around the world surrounding electronic marketing. If you live or work in Canada, or email folks who do, you’ll want to be sure to collect and catalog express consent as outlined in the new Canadian Anti-Spam Laws (CASL). Same goes for if you live or work in Europe. Make sure you look up and abide by local EU member states’ laws on email marketing. As a general note, the laws and regulations that govern email marketing are constantly evolving, and you are ultimately responsible for the emails you send, so we encourage you to stay informed about the laws that affect you and your email recipients.
While we can’t give legal advice, we encourage you to become familiar with these laws, especially if you live in or mail to recipients outside the U.S. Additionally, by agreeing to the TOS, you agree to not send SPAM so make sure you brush up on your reading!
How does Weebly help protect against sending unwanted or unsolicited email?
Weebly uses the full spectrum of people, processes, and technology to ensure that our user's mail gets delivered.
Legal - We require that each user understands and agrees to our permission-based Terms of Service. In addition, when users upload a contact list, they must agree that it is consent-based. Finally, we require that each user understand and agree that they do not send marketing emails to recipients located in export controlled or embargoed countries.
Unsubscribe - Every email generated through the Weebly Promote feature contains an unsubscribe link which allows contacts to opt-out of future emails and automatically updates contact lists to avoid the chance of sending unwanted emails in the future.
Reporting Abuse - If you feel a Weebly user is sending unsolicited email, you can report it to us by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each email will be reviewed by a member of the Abuse team. In addition, we will investigate each complaint and take appropriate action against the sender.