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Email Marketing for the Entertainment Industry

When a long-term email campaign is conducted with professional accuracy and thoroughness, your entertainment business will benefit from increased online visibility and the ability to reach out and connect with more prospects. There are few promotional opportunities available, whether online or in any traditional media, that match the impact and power of a properly implemented and consistent email marketing campaign. The launch of a campaign requires careful consideration be given to a number of significant factors.
Implementation
Email marketing differs from the time-honored process of commissioning a radio commercial or purchasing a display ad in a trade magazine. In traditional media advertising, legal liability is limited to whether the ad's claims are factually verifiable. If that prerequisite of stating the truth in the ad copy is satisfied, then the advertiser doesn't need to worry about any legal challenges. In the case of email marketing, there are two types of legislation that must be satisfied: Federal and state laws, as well as the entertainment industry's standards for self-regulation, ethics and discipline. If any of the conditions set out by these standards are violated, the email campaign can lead to legal ramifications for your entertainment business.
Compliance
Any information on a client entered into your subscription list without gaining the specific and express permission to send email newsletters to that individual violates both federal law and entertainment industry ethical conduct standards. This means no copying information from business cards, adding subscribers through word of mouth or any method that does not explicitly consider and document the subscriber's consent.

US law requires direct and precise approval to be garnered from the customer. Approval must be logged to your records permanently so it is can be made available for any future review or audit. Entertainment business managers and owners under the misconception they are not subject to either forms of these legislative standards must be aware that the penalties for violations are extremely severe, and include fines of thousands of dollars for each individual email sent, as well as possible incarceration.
CAN-SPAM Must Be Followed
US CAN-SPAM legislation describes the regulations all email marketing campaigns must follow. CAN-SPAM is an opt-out law governing the right of any subscriber to have their personal contact information removed upon first request. Best practice standards for email marketing call for direct and absolute permission to be granted by prospects prior to sending email campaign content. Violating these federal laws can open up your entertainment business up to severe legal charges, which may sanction the owner or manager of the company with fines and penalties of up to thousands of dollars for each email sent. More severe penalties include possible time in prison.
Unsubscriber Facilitation
The very first time a subscriber informs you they wish to be taken off your email list, the onus is on your entertainment business to ensure that it is done correctly, definitively and immediately. Each and every unsubscribe request must be facilitated according to US federal law, which dictates that any violation of the regulations creates a liability for the entertainment business owner or manager. Violations can result in severe fines and even jail time.
Bouncing Email Control
When an email cannot be delivered in a prompt and timely manner it is returned, generally by an Internet function known as a Mailer Daemon. These emails are returned in two different forms: soft or hard bounces. Both types of bounced emails must be taken seriously. Soft bounces should be investigated to discover whether the bounce is related to the condition of the client's inbox or if there is some other issue that must be rectified. The act of resending emails to a hard bounce address is more severe, and can irrevocably damage your online reputation. Failure to weed these addresses can result in a situation where your future emails may be treated by many ISPs as spam, leading to blacklisting and non-delivery.
Privacy Policy
Privacy policies usually take up a number of paragraphs of legal boilerplate set in small type, and some business owners are inclined to visit a competitor's website and copy that policy to their own website. This is a bad practice that can result in severe legal liability. Consult your entertainment business attorney and draft a privacy policy specifically for your company.
Proper List Segmentation
Segmentation is the subscriber categorization process that takes into account a number of demographic and other critical factors, including psychographic, lifestyle, behavior and life cycle. By developing specifically targeted content to suit each stratum, your ability to appeal directly to your clients' needs can be fine tuned.
Ongoing Content Testing
In order to derive a scientific basis for your overall online marketing strategy, it is recommended that you engage in what is known as A/B testing. This form of testing sends out small samples of specifically drafted content to particular strata on your list. By analyzing the type and volume of response for each sampling, you will be able to appeal to your email newsletter subscriber.
Obtaining the Prospect's Data
In order to facilitate your segmentation operations, it is important to reassure your client base that their information will be kept secure and your organization will not barter, sell or trade information to third parties. As your email newsletter subscription database continues to grow, you will discover that segmentation activities provide positive results and become more precise as time goes on. The more customer information you can gather, the more easily you can apply it to gain insight and cater to your clients' needs and preferences.

Analyzing The Prospect's Behavior
Analyzing open and click-through rates can give you insight into subscriber behavior. There are three primary groups of subscriber behaviors: Prospects who never seem to open your emails and are candidates for elimination from your list; clients who read but fail to act on your emails with the desired click-through and should remain on the list as they may engage your entertainment business in the future; and the best customer prospects, who both read and click-through your emails. By scrutinizing all aspects of your subscribers' behavior, you will be able to define data on how your email newsletters are performing and whether your current online marketing strategy should be modified for better results.
Good Email Practices
Your campaign should always adhere to careful crafting of subject lines. The subject line is the headline of your email and is most often the only information allowing your reader to determine whether or not to open your email. As you engage in segmentation activities and supporting A/B tests, you will find that setting up multiple landing pages - each with varied and narrowly targeted content - provides valuable data to further refine your online promotional strategies.
Email Metrics
The statistics at the core of this guide show that almost 89 percent of all entertainment business owners and managers were aware their click-through rates, and 98 percent are able to quote their open rates, demonstrating that the entertainment industry is up to date on key metrics forming the important performance basis of any online marketing campaign.