SCIRP Practicing Legal and Moderate Email Marketing

Date: 2015-01-08

Some advertisement is necessary and online marketing is the only viable option for an online publisher. Email marketing is only one option of online marketing. SCIRP is using email marketing in a cautious manner because also emails sent legally can annoy recipients. This is the last SCIRP wants. Estimates exist claiming that “97 % of all emails sent over the Internet are unwanted”. Please do not blame SCIRP for this high number. SCIRP’s strategy is to limit email campaigns and to use alternative channels to announce author’s achievements (interesting papers with a more general focus) and publishing possibilities. SCIRP is using its own Blog (this one), News, and various social media: LinkedIn, facebook, andTwitterCompanies affiliated with SCIRP advertise for one another on their websites with logo and link. With all these other online marketing strategies the importance of email marketing has declined. Paper submission from email marketing accounts only for 20 % … 30 % at SCIRP today.

Email marketing can be done with solicited or with unsolicited emails. Solicited emails are those the user has asked for or agreed to before the email is sent. The principle is also calledopt-in. Solicited emails are universally accepted. SCIRP gets solicited email addresses from a link at each journal for “Newsletter Subscription“ or when users change to an alternative email address using the unsubscribe dialog. “Consent can also be inferred from the business relationship between the sender and recipient or if the recipient conspicuously publishes their email address in a public place (such as on a website).“ (Wikipedia)

SCIRP Inc. is registered in the USA. Therefore, it is a legal entity in the USA and US law should apply for SCIRP when sending emails internationally. When SCIRP sends unsolicitedemails it does so in strict accordance with the US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Most of the important regulations are contained in § 7704. The CAN-SPAM Act allows sending emails without prior permission from the recipient on the basis that the recipient can unsubscribe after having received the first email. The principle is also called opt-out. Three types of compliance are defined in the CAN-SPAM Act. Listed here are the most important requirements of each type and SCIRP’s strategy to comply with it (technical details are not discussed here):

  • Unsubscribe compliance: A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails. The preview of SCIRP’s unsubscribe dialog is representative for the layout, but has not the functionality it would have attached to an actual email because some input parameters are missing in case of the preview.
  • Content compliance: a) SCIRP’s from line is accurate and gives the full name of the company. b) A relevant subject line (relevant to the offer in body content) is used. c) A legitimate physical address is used. The full address of SCIRP’s Principal Place of Business (Wuhan, China) is used in all messages.
  • Sending behavior compliance: The unsubscribe option is located below the message.

Commercial emails may be sent at SCIRP for various reasons as there are:

  • Sending a Call for Papers (CFP) for a journal.
  • Announcing a Special Issue.
  • Distributing an occasional newsletter for a journal.
  • Distributing SCIRP’s newsletter with links to latest published articles selected on the basis of general interest for a diverse audience.

SCIRP does not send bulk emails to ask for Editorial Board members because it is part of the duty of an Editor-in-Chief to select Editorial Board members for a journal from the international community in the field of the journal based on their merit.

SCIRP sends personalized bulk emails as it knows not only the email address but also the name of the recipients. Recipients are addressed with given name and family name. Example: “Dear Thomas Smith,”. SCIRP has also the title of most recipients in its database, but titles are not used in addressing recipients. It was found that different styles exist, and readers are very sensitive if they are not addressed with their title in exactly the way they are used to. Also bulk emails are mostly sent by a person e.g. the Editor-in-Chief, the Editorial Assistant, or the head of SCIRP’s marketing department. Their respective name is given together with their functional email address.

Bulk emails are sent in HTML format allowing for a much nicer design. A link to a related web page is given on top of the message in case the reader cannot see the email content properly. The specific content ends with SCIRP’s physical address and is followed at the bottom by the unsubscribe link.

In the end it does not matter, if the email address is a solicited or an unsolicited one because no matter how the email address got on the list, the recipient can unsubscribe in any case. Some people are afraid of using the unsubscribe link. This skepticism is justified.Wikipedia: “if the recipient clicks on an unsubscribe link, that may cause that email address to be marked as ‘valid’ “.  A valid and confirmed email address is worth more in the hand of criminals and is more likely to be used in subsequent illegal mailings. SCIRP just hopes to convince all about its honest intentions and hopes all will follow Wikipedia’s advice: “If the originating company is legitimate and the content of the message is legitimate, thenindividuals should unsubscribe to messages they no longer wish to receive.”

The best considerations in email marketing do not help if recipients are annoyed because emails come too often. For this reason SCIRP limits the frequency of bulk email emissions. This, although the US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 sets neither limits to the frequency nor to the number of recipient email addresses of bulk emails. SCIRP has the rule never to send emails from email market campaigns to the same recipient in an interval less than 15 days. In other words, a recipient should receive no more than 2 bulk emails from SCIRP per month – and again, reception is all voluntary, if someone does not like it, only two clicks are necessary to unsubscribe!

This post is based on the FAQs:

What are SCIRP’s online marketing strategies?
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