Email Permissions – How To Get Them The Legal Way
When you send out campaigns to audiences, you need to know that you have their permission. Without permission, you could be breaking several email marketing laws. This can have severe repercussions. You could face a fine or have your email server blocked: either way your business will be financially worse off.
Instead, you need to be sure that you collect email permissions the legal way. Here are several things that you’ve got to do.
1. Be Transparent
The first thing that you need to do is to write content that, during the signup process, informs the audience of what to expect. This should include what content you’ll send them (sales/marketing/news/product updates), how often (once a day/week/month) and what information you will keep.
Providing this information not only informs the audience of what they can expect, it aligns itself with the strictest laws across the world.
2. Be Upfront
The information collected and the reason for collection must be presented before the audience agrees to subscribe to your mailing list. This means that the audience is informed about what they are subscribing too and there is no confusion.
An example of this point, and the first, is when newspapers have been fined for subscribing audiences on one pretence only to send other content. For instance, one paper was fined when it sent marketing content to thousands of users who had subscribed to receive the latest news from the site.
3. Double Optin
While not a legal requirement in all parts of the world, the double optin strategy is an effective way to ensure that audiences are subscribing to your mailing list. A double optin works by the subscriber confirming their permission to receive content through a confirmation link inserted in an email. This allows you to identify who has really confirmed their acceptance and gives you solid proof of that permission.
It can also protect your business. If you use a double optin strategy when you use lead magnets (free downloadables, email courses, etc.), you can be sure that someone is really giving you the correct email address before offering them the free gift. In addition, you can check that the email address is accurate with this strategy which will keep your email marketing list clean.
4. Don’t Send Marketing Content Until You Get Permission
Before permission is given by the subscriber, you should refrain from sending marketing or sales content to your audience. What constitutes as sales/marketing content can differ from country to country and even state to state. Therefore, it is best to only send content that is related to their subscription until you get confirmation.
If you haven’t got some permissions through the double optin solution, you can always send more confirmation emails to potential subscribers. You can do this up to three times before you have to give up. Ensure that the emails you’re sending out to those who haven’t confirmed don’t have any marketing materials. Perhaps include a line this this:
“We’ve noticed that you haven’t yet confirmed subscription to our mailing list, if you wish to do so please click here or if you would rather not, please let us know.”
You can include two links, one which will confirm subscription and one that will unsubscribe them.
Don’t be caught out by sending out marketing/sales content to subscribers who haven’t given you permission. And ensure that you’ve got permission to send the content you want to send them. They might give you permission for one set of content and not for another.
Follow the guidelines above to help.
How do you ensure that subscribers have given you permission? Do you use the double optin solution?
Let us know in the comments below.