Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions about Digital Direct. For answers to questions not listed here, please speak with our help desk at (888) 416-2443.
Yes. We do not allow any email communications through Digital Direct that do not comply with the CAN-SPAM act.
We don’t actually get the emails from the social media services. Digital Direct uses the publicly available API of the social media services to access an individual's unique social media ID. We then cross-reference the social media ID’s against our database to find the individual's email addresses and opt-in information. Only people with a verified opt-in will become part of your Digital Direct account database.
Generally, when building a database via social media, you will be able to get deliverable emails for 30-40% of the target. All of these contacts will have previously given opt-in permission for 3rd parties to send emails to them.
This covers the programming and data costs for building your custom database, performing inbox verification and delivery scrubs on your list, creation of your custom responsive email template/landing page and the set-up of your initial drip campaigns.
Digital Direct uses a network of publishers to expand our opt-in database. If we don’t have the opt-in directly, we compensate the publisher who does, in order to use it for our client. Each person in your database will have previously confirmed by checking a box that they want to receive content from 3rd parties.
The Digital Direct service is, in part, an email service provider (ESP) allowing all emails to be sent via your Digital Direct account. The branding on the email will be all yours, so to the recipient it wil appear as it is coming directly from you.
Because emails are being sent exclusively from Digital Direct lists and email sending service, all complaints are handled by Digital Direct staff who provide the appropriate opt-in data to inquiring Internet Service Providers (ISP).
When a reader opts-out the system disables email sending capabilities to that address. At the end of each month all opt-outs are replenished with new names, as part of the monthly subscription.
Digital Direct owns the database and leases it out for a flat monthly subscription price. Ownership transfers from Digital Direct for any contact that opts-in and may be downloaded and added to the clients in-house database.
Clients have the option to export all opt-ins to their own “house” database or continue to mail to them inside of Digital Direct. At the end of each month all exported opt-ins are replenished with new names, as part of the monthly subscription.
Email deliverability is primarily based on the brand reputation of the sender. When a new Digital Direct client account is opened, the IP addresses are clean, but neutral. First we scrub each database to make sure that the emails are active and deliverable. Then Digital Direct has a built-in 30 day process for systematically “warming up” your brand reputation which involves staggering out the delivery of email communications over a period of time. As your brand reputation builds, we reduce the throttling of the email sending.
On a day-to-day basis, you will have an account manager who will do most of the “heavy lifting” for you. This includes sending your emails, setting up your campaigns, providing you with export links and reports. Your primary “work” is pasting the content of your emails into the custom template we’ll create for you and telling your account manager when you’d like the emails to be distributed.
Digital Direct offers the ability for you to send a highly targeted, real-time emails to a person who searched Google using a certain phrase or keyword.
You can email each client up to once per day.
Digital Direct is 100% web based, meaning you can access it anywhere and there’s no software to install on your computer.
Inside the support area of your account is an email ticketing system. You just write us a note saying you want to cancel and that’s all there is to it.
If you need any help setting up your account or have any questions about using Digital Direct, our account representatives are ready to help you. Support is free, so don’t be shy – give us a call at: 888-416-2443.
Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest
Results vary based on factors ranging from product, campaign, frequency, email subject and others. Non-readers typically open communications in a range of 1-3%. Those that have previously opened your communications open subsequent emails 20-50% of the time.
It's fair to expect a blended response of 3-5% once your reader file gets built up. Also, keep in mind that we send you all the good opt-in names and take them out of our list. We get a high % of conversion which is why your campaign's focus needs to be on sign-ups, not on opens, because of the fact we're regularly taking out the good names and bringing in brand new prospects.
If you'd like to run projections on the results using the Digital Direct will yield, you can use our online calculator to run scenarios at: http://bit.ly/DDcalculator
The data we can obtain on prospects via social media is based on 3 factors: 1) what the social media service allows us access to; 2) what data the user has input into their account; and 3) the users privacy settings.
At minimum we will have their email address. At maximum we will have email, first name and last name. You can always capture additional data via the opt-in form when prospects engage with your emails.
Digital Direct has a "throttling" process on emails being sent that is engineered for creating maximum deliverability. When you begin, your account has zero email reputation. Our job is to, as quickly as possible, create a positive reputation so you have a direct communications channel to get your emails to your prospects. That's what the throttling drip process is designed to accomplish. Here's how it works:
Whenever you send to a "new" email, that hasn't been sent before, we spread out those emails over a 7 day period.
Then, after the first email is sent, those recipients get sorted into two "buckets": 1) Readers; 2) Non-Readers.
When your subsequent emails get sent out, the "Non-Reader" file gets throttled over a 24 hour period. The "Reader" file gets sent immediately.
The good news about this approach is it works.
The downside is you don't have exact precision as to when emails are sent, except for the reader file, which doesn't have any throttles placed on it.
You may not send direct offers or sales messages (Ex. Buy Our Vitamins Save 50% Today!). Digital Direct is a content marketing service which means that all of your emails must lead with editorial content of interest to your audience, like a publisher would send. The only direct selling you are permitted to do is "sandwiching" an ad in between your content. Then, once a prospect has opted-in to consume your content, we give you the contact information so you can follow up with more direct sales oriented messaging outside of Digital Direct.
1) Content Marketing, Not Direct Sales. Digital Direct requires that all emails using our network to be content oriented. No direct selling is permitted, outside of an ad that can be included between your content. Once a prospect opts-in, we will export their contact info to you and you may communicate any direct sales message to them directly outside of the Digital Direct network.
2) Email & Story Design. The base level Digital Direct program (10,000 prospects) includes the Digital Direct team designing your first email and story. After that, Digital Direct will provide you with video training materials so you can handle all subsequent email and story design on your own. Digital Direct accounts of 25,000+ prospects include our weekly Done 4 You design service, which has our team design (1) one email and story (of up to 900 words) weekly for you.
3) Database Ownership & Lead Exporting. Digital Direct owns the database you will be emailing to and licenses it to you monthly for your use. Once a contact opts-in to specifically receive your content, ownership then shifts to you. Digital Direct removes these opt-in clients from your database, exporting them to you via a daily export list, for you to use through your own emailing service. We replace all opt-ins (and opt-outs) with new contacts monthly, so you are always marketing to the appropriate database size you have purchased.
4) Monthly Billing. Your monthly billing will commence once your database is built and your Digital Direct account is set-up and ready for your use. It is your responsibility to have your email content ready to be sent.
5) Subscription Cancellation. You may cancel at any time. Doing so closes your account, eliminating your ability to communicate with your Digital Direct database. If you choose to restart your subscription at a later date, you will need to go through the database acquisition expense and onboarding process like any new client.
6) Emailing Frequency. With the exception of your first email, you can send emails to your database as frequently as you’d like, up to a maximum of one per day. Your first email, to help create optimal deliverability, is spread out over a 7 day period. Your monthly billing remains the same, regardless of how many or few emails you send in any given month.
In the United States, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is more of an opt out law than an opt in law. In other words, while it may be legal to send unsolicited commercial email in the U.S., you must include an unsubscribe link and honor any such unsubscribes within 10 days. Of course, there are many other requirements as well, such as don't use deceptive subject lines, don't use misleading header information, etc.
Here is a great summary from The Federal Trade Commission of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
From Wikipedia: In the U.S. spam is legally permissible according to CAN-SPAM, provided it meets certain criteria: a "truthful" subject line, no forged information in the technical headers or sender address, and other minor requirements. If the spam fails to comply with any of these requirements it is illegal.
In many other countries, the requirement actually goes even further to prohibit the emailing of unsolicited email. In other words, you need permission before emailing to someone.