Join John Arnold for an in-depth discussion in this video Asking for permission, part of Email Marketing Basics.
Email marketing without permission can spell disaster for your marketing emails. You can't legally send emails to total strangers and even if you could, you wouldn't make very many people happy by sending them emails they didn't ask for. Therefore, an email list without permission isn't very valuable. However, when an email list includes the email addresses of prospects and customers who have explicitly asked your business to send them emails to stay informed, you have a very valuable asset for your marketing strategy. In this part of the course I am going to show you how to include permission in your email marketing plans so that your email list is full of people who want to receive your emails.
The first step in the process of building a permission-based email list is deciding on a permission level. Now, there are three basic types of permission. The lowest permission level is implied permission. For example, when someone hands you a business card and says let's stay in touch, you could assume that means sending a few emails. But be extra careful with implied permission, because people may be unpleasantly surprised if you start sending marketing emails without first confirming the content and the frequency of those emails. It's a good idea in the case of implied permission to send an email confirming your decision to add someone to your email list and include a link for opting out if you're new implied subscriber doesn't want to be on your marketing email list.
The second permission level is explicit permission. For example, when someone fills out an online form to join your email list, that person has given you explicit permission to send the emails your email sign-up form specifies. Explicit permission is the industry standard for email marketing and the recommended level of permission for most email marketing providers. The third permission level is confirmed permission, also known as double opt-in. Confirmed permission works like this: when someone explicitly opts in to your email list, you send an email asking the new subscriber to confirm their decision to join the list.
Usually this happens by clicking a link or replying to the confirmation email with a specific message. Confirmed permission ensures that your email list subscribers are highly interested in receiving your emails and confirming permission generally improves your delivery rates too. Now let's go over a few forms of permission that actually have the potential to get you in trouble. You should avoid building your email list based on someone else's permission. For example, don't send marketing emails to people on email lists belonging to your vendors, your colleagues, your partners, or trade organizations.
If you want to reach people on other email lists, ask the owner of the list to send the emails to their list on your behalf and ask them to explicitly opt in to your email list. Some email lists are sold or leased out by list brokers and permission-based quality is very important if you decide to use a broker to send your emails. If you decide to use a list broker anyway, make sure the list broker you use is completely compliant with all laws and industry best practices. Since your email list is valuable, protect it like an asset.
Don't share your email list with anyone and don't violate your permission standards by sending emails your subscribers didn't sign up for. In the next section of the course I show you how to collect email addresses from people so that you can build a list with quality and quantity in mind.
- Building an email list
- Collecting email addresses
- Offering incentives to increase signups
- Deciding on a format for emails
- Including links
- Sending valuable offers
- Creating effective From address and subject lines
- Combing email with social media and mobile devices
- Managing bounced and blocked email
- Evaluating email click-through data
- Automating email marketing