Data leak or avoidable email campaign blunder?

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Clearly, for those individuals affected by the recent email management mistakes made by a London sexual health centre, the result must have been devastating and those involved have our sympathy for a supposed email campaign blunder.

However, the media’s reaction in describing this as “a data leak” is headline-grabbing and exaggerated. What’s more, with the correct procedures and tools in place this unfortunate situation could have been so easily avoided.

The case for online marketing tools

Whatever the size of the organisation, or business, there are now easy–to–use tools for all aspects of online activity – including sending emails. Anyone with a good understanding of sending emails will realise that this mistake was made by clicking on cc, rather than bcc, when preparing the email  (this is explained well and in more detail by data security expert Graham Cluley here.). As Graham explains in his article, someone with an even better understanding of email management would know that there are tools available which eliminate the risk of this happening and these tools offer so much more too.

Depending on the size of your database there are email tools, or Email Service Providers (ESPs), with which you can co-ordinate email campaigns costing  zero to a few pence per send.  Tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Dotmailer all eliminate the risk of email addresses being shared by mistake, as in the case of this London Clinic, and they also provide really useful tracking functionality so that you can see who opened your email and which links to your website were clicked and when.

Online risk avoidance

Has this unfortunate error made you think about the email tools you use and the processes you have in place?  Are you concerned that this might be an area where you don’t have sufficient team resources or expertise within your office structure? This is where an agency like Cariad Marketing can help because  we can manage the whole process for you – design a template, help with the copywriting and complete the send; simply delivering you with an easy to understand report on how many emails were sent, opened and how many of your email objectives were achieved.

It’s very sad that such a dreadful experience for over  800 people this week has triggered an interest in, and awareness of, the risks for all organisations, large and small, in taking email marketing for granted. However, the unfortunate outcome has highlighted the importance of applying the correct procedures and processes and of using the correct online tools; so that, in future, a similar mailing campaign mistake is unlikely to be repeated.

Want to know more about how we can help you with your email campaigns? Find out here.

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