Understand POPI In 60 Seconds

So here is the low down on POPI. Nope, we ain’t talking about a “POPPY” china, we’re chatting about something far more serious. The Protection of Personal Information Bill is a pretty important piece of law that aims at protecting the personal information of South Africans. So what’s it all about and why is it important to you as a marketing manager? Are you looking to use some 3rd party data to market into?

I’m a bloke so I am going to get right down to the nitty-gritty.

The Act was signed into law in 2013 and affects the way companies collect, store and use personal information, provided by their customers, employees and the public.

We need this type of legislation and it needs to be enforced, otherwise your personal details at the bank will be handed over to a cellphone company, who in turn will sell your details onto an insurance company, who will then sell your details onto a fitness chain. You get the idea. This type of legislation has been adopted around the world, and it’s about time we jumped into line.

This is what I believe you need to know (high-level stuff, but ultimately the stuff that counts):

  • Personal information must be collected for a specific purpose, and this needs to be made clear to the subject you are collecting the information from. A data subject can, at any time, request information pertaining to the collection of their data. Now that POPI is in place, you have the right to ask “How did you get my information?”
  • If you hold my information for reason X and you use my information for reason Y, it’s a problem.
  • People must “opt-in” to receive direct marketing communication like SMS and email, and in each communication they must be given the opportunity to “unsubscribe”. If you get any SMS and email marketing communication you will see evidence of this “unsubscribe” option in the copy or generally at the bottom of email comms.
  • Provided a company has been clear and upfront as to why and how it wants to collect and process information, that they can provide the data record with a history of how their data has been collected and give that data record the option to “unsubscribe” from any direct marketing communication, they will be regarded as compliant.

So why is this important to any marketing manager who is looking to use an external data player?

It’s simple. Your brand cannot run the risk of sending out a direct marketing message to any data record that isn’t POPI compliant.

Failing that, you might find yourself packing up your stuff and looking for another marketing position.

Why don’t you get in touch with us. Our data is all 100% POPI compliant.

Until next time.


Email marketing

What Does A High School Crush Have To Do With Your Email List?

‘List hygiene’ is one of those fancy shmancy digital marketing words that I loathe. Someone once asked me “Like do you implement effective list hygiene strategies, bra?” Speak English man! Why is it important to remove inaccurate or disengaged records from your email marketing list? Now that is a real question. If you have a list, that you email into regularly, then this is actually a question you need answered. Here are 3 simple things you should do to keep your email marketing list squeaky clean, and why thinking about a high school crush prompted me to write this post.

  1. Remove emails that bounce

In layman’s terms an “email bounce” is an email that is returned to the sender because it cannot be delivered. The one server says to the other server, this guy ain’t here (hard bounce) or this guy ain’t here right now (soft bounce). The latter could mean that the mailbox is full, or the recipient’s email server is down/offline or even that the email is just too big to be delivered.

So why do you need to remove email addresses that bounce back, like a tennis ball off a practice wall?

The obvious reason is that the recipient isn’t receiving the message so you are wasting money sending them a mail in the first place. You wouldn’t drop off a flyer into a post box at an vacant house, would you?

The less obvious reason is because that “bouncy email” gets flagged by ISPs and that ultimately hurts your overall email deliverability rate. If too much email bounces then ISPs figure it has to be SPAM, because who would send large volumes of mail to people who don’t exist – Only SPAMMERS. And anything that looks like SPAM is treated with disdain and punished severely.

Hard bounces should be removed from your email list immediately and soft bounces should be given a few chances and then ultimately removed. If you are sending mail, you are probably using a software programme to deliver your email messages and most of them nowadays have this bounce removal functionality built into the offering.

2. Unsubscribe people who don’t want to receive your email

If you send people email that they don’t want, they are going to get the moer in! It’s a no brainer. Allowing someone to unsubscribe from your email marketing communication is not only the right thing to do, but a legal requirement. And it stands to reason that it makes no sense having someone on your email marketing list who doesn’t actually want to receive your communication.

Plus complaints lead to more bad marks against your name, which again leads to your server reps being damaged.

Make sure you have a visible ‘unsubscribe’ link in your email communication and if someone clicks to unsubscribe, make sure that they are actually removed. Otherwise peeps get double the moer in.

3. Remove people that don’t engage with your email communication

I’m reminded of a chick I had a crush on in high school. I was mad about this bird…But no matter how many advances I made, I just wasn’t getting any love back (not even a bloody second glance). At some stage I had to give up the good fight, cut my losses, pick my crushed ego up off the floor and move on. She just wasn’t into me. Same could be said for people on your email data base, who don’t open or click on your correspondence. If they aren’t engaged in what you have to say or sell, then it’s time to purge your email list and perhaps move the “cold records” into a new list, with a new strategy, to awaken them from their slumber.

It’s the old 80/2o rule – 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. If you look closely enough, you will probably find that most of your engaged database are actually the same people over and over again. Separate them from the rest of the people, who aren’t responding to your communication and work out why the others have fallen asleep.

So, just to recap:

  1. Remove dodgy email records from your base
  2. Allow people to opt out (you don’t need the moaning and groaning)
  3. Find your engaged database and remove the dead wood.

What you will be left with is this – clean email, sent to people who want to get it and actually engage with it.

Drop me a line if you need anything.

Until next time.


Direct marketing

5 Ways To Convince Your Client “Direct Marketing” Isn’t A Dirty Word

Are you considering adding direct marketing channels, like sms and email to your client pitch, but you’re concerned the phrase “direct marketing” has a seriously negative connotation? We don’t want you worrying about being frog-marched from the boardroom and fretting about losing a potential pitch because you told your client they should send a text message instead of running a 728 x 90 banner on Fin24.

Why direct marketing has such a bum rap, I don’t know. It’s kinda like box wine, everybody used to enjoy a glass in the kitchen, now you wouldn’t be caught dead with your “papsak” at a braai (both are ‘oh so unfashionable’…). My point is that direct marketing has been around for decades because it works (just like wine in a box still delivers the same result as wine in a bottle) but in the new-age of digital marketing, buzz words like “programmatic buying” and “paid search”, are a much sexier sell to prospective clients.

So why is it that marketing managers are loathe to pitch an email or sms campaign?

Is it because email and sms marketing simply don’t work anymore? Nah, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with that!

It’s actually the “absolute directness” of direct marketing that has most marketing managers anxious about throwing it in the campaign mix – and as a result they completely overlook it. Sending an sms or email message directly to someone’s inbox gets people, who sign off on marketing budgets, so nervous that they would rather throw money in ten different directions before investing a cent into sms or email channels.

And it’s such a contradiction, isn’t it? We all have to agree that the most direct forms of marketing communication are the most effective. If I asked you if you want a slice of cake? Your answer would either be Yes or No. You can’t dodge the question because it is being fired directly at you.

But if I only left my cake specials up on my restaurant chalk board, would you even know the offers existed? Probably not. You have more chance selling cake by asking your patrons directly (no-brainer)

Direct marketing works because of the “absolute directness” of the message, but it’s the “absolute directness” of the marketing that has everyone getting all hot and bothered.

So where does the anxiety stem from?

4 letters sum it all up – SPAM

And SPAM is bad for another 5 letter word – BRAND

No brand wants to be associated with SPAM – An irrelevant or inappropriate message sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.

Nowadays, every mass marketing message is considered SPAM. Seems a little unfair to me.

If the very definition of SPAM is ” an irrelevant or inappropriate messaging to a large number of recipients” then what if the messaging is:

  • very relevant
  • completely appropriate
  • sent to a small niche target audience

Is the marketing message then considered SPAM?

If I sent an sms marketing message to a group of moms with school going kids about after-school daycare services, at really affordable rates, would the message be:

  • irrelevant
  • inappropriate
  • considered mass marketing

Let’s get real! You need to call a thing a a thing! We can all recognize SPAM when we see it, but it would be naive to think that every bit of mass electronic communication is SPAM.

Here are 5 ways to convince your client that direct marketing should form part of their overall marketing strategy:

  • It’s perfectly legal to send direct marketing messages like sms and email (this is key)
  • A targeted, well thought-out marketing message, delivered by sms or email, to an opt-in database is not SPAM (it’s SMART)
  • People who respond to direct marketing messages are genuinely interested in your product or service
  • It’s far more measurable than other marketing campaigns
  • It’s far more cost effective than other marketing initiatives

If you still having a problem convincing your client, drop me a line and I will meet you at your next client pitch.