A lot of non-marketers think of people who marketing online as nothing more than spammers. It’s easy to understand why. We all get mountains of spam emails on a daily basis – regardless of whether or not we gave out the email address. And we all know that email marketing is one of the best ways to run our business, showcase our expertise, and nurture client and customer relationships.
But unless you want to be prosecuted and condemned for sending spam emails out, you’ll want to take precautions to be careful about who you email and why. Spam is defined as unsolicited email messages and there are laws created to protect consumers.
Those of us who use email marketing don’t want to think of ourselves as “spammers” but when you sign up someone to your newsletter ‘by default’ when they opt-in for something else or purchase a product, then you are by definition sending spam. I know, I know, “but people signed up to my list!” and yes, I get that. But unless it’s clearly spelled out in your text next to the opt-in box that by opting in they will also get “x y and z” then they are truly not opting in to your other lists. People nowadays are more tech savvy than before and won’t hesitate to mark your email as spam, which will get reported to your list manager company. You can have your ISP ban you for sending spam, and you can lose your autoresponder account, too.
Why risk it? It will hurt your credibility, risks your accounts, and these subscribers don’t convert as well as targeted, welcomed email does. So first, stop automating your lists and give the people only what they signed up for.
It’s far better to use an opt-in form where people willingly enter their first name and email address. In fact, it’s best to utilize the double opt-in option most autoresponders provide.
A single opt in is when you just let the person enter their information once. But what’s to stop one person from going around entering another person’s contact information for unethical reasons?
You want a double opt in to protect yourself. Here’s how it works:
The user lands on your website and sees an opt in box, asking for their first name and email address. They enter it (usually in exchange for a free download or the promise of information at a later date).
Then the autoresponder tool automatically sends out a verification email. The end user gets the email alerting them that they’ve signed up to be on your list, but it asks them to verify their subscription by clicking on a link in the email.
This means if someone goes to your site and signs someone else up, that person will get a notification and have the option to decline if they weren’t the ones who really opted into the list.
When you signed up for this email series, you signed up via an autoresponder, confirmed your opt-in by verifying your email, and are receiving the emails via the autoresponder program.
Make sure you abide by permission marketing standards. These people trust you enough to hand over important details, so don’t sell their contact information or abuse it in any way. If you respect the people on your list, it will grow and you’ll have a ready-made list of prospects that can help you earn more money on both a short and long-term time frame.