For there to be ethics in email marketing, businesses with emailing lists need to be ethical in conducting their activities.
While surfing internet many times, we register with a company to receive information on something of our interest. Although, even ask us to trust their policy and promise that they will keep the information confidential and that our email addresses and information will not be shared, we end up receiving spam messages from companies, which we had not subscribed to.
There are many marketers out there who are ethical in conducting their businesses. But the question is, what about those who do not uphold ethics and exploit our trust by selling their unsubscribed emailing lists to others?
Ethics in email marketing are whether marketers will hold on to their word that they are not going to sell or reveal your information to other parties, no matter the circumstances, which includes whether you have subscribed or unsubscribed from their list. This practice is known as ethical marketing.
For ethical marketers, a promise is a promise and because they promised not to reveal nor sell your email address, they ensure that they honor their promise no matter the state of the relationship between the marketer and the client. If a marketer had stated in their sign up process that if a client unsubscribed from their list their email address could be sold or re-used, then that would be considered totally ethical though no person would want to subscribe.
When it comes to email marketing, trust and truth is very vital as it clearly shows that you imply what you say and going against your word destroys both. Because it is not easy to trust a person you have not seen face to face, it becomes a difficult to convince a person to trust you because their trust may have been broken.
Selling of your unsubscribed list to list buyers is not only an unethical marketing practice, but it also causes problems for the seller. This is because if you as the seller sell your list to a list buyer and it turn out that the list buyer is short of a few names in their lists, and then they will add even your email address to each of their lists and sell the lists to other buyers. One should not be surprised if the list buyers turn out to be unethical just like the seller was.
Another unethical practice is buying lists from other marketers. Some marketers think that buying lists will help them market their products and services greatly and efficiently. But they forget that most of the people in the lists had not particularly requested for that product. Such practices are not effective at all as the marketer will not be putting focus on targeting a particular audience. Rather, he will be wasting his money and time trying to sell products to uninterested people.
Unethical email marketing is a practice that mainly irritates most people who have subscribed to certain marketing websites only to receive unimportant mails filling their inboxes from different websites or marketers. The practice also taints other internet marketers and therefore it is not a worthwhile practice.