When starting a list for email marketing, is it appropriate to add contacts to the list without the person signing up for the list?
Let’s say you are new start up and you don’t yet have a large following. However, you want to send an email newsletter to people with whom you have some connection and probably have an interest in what you are doing. Assuming the newsletter has an opt-out link, is it appropriate to add existing contacts ((i.e. clients, friends, acquaintances, LinkedIn contacts etc.) who have not personally completed the sign-up form?
I wouldn't use this strategy for my email marketing. Even if you are thinking of using "cold" email lists, I would suggest that you send only invitations to the mailing list, and not add them to the active list. Starting email marketing is a complex process, but you can use these tips to grow your email list. This will be an effective method
Be careful not to be marked as a spammer. I'm not sure what your product or service is, but you can hire a company to do your email blast based upon a particular demographic of your choosing. The company uses email lists of people that have opted in and are can spam compliant. If you're interested contact me. I'm sure I could help.
I agree with Tracey Warren.
If you have a prior relationship with the people you want to add to an email list simply sending them an email and asking permission is the most effective way to start.
Here is another way to do this. Set up a squeeze page offering a free ebook about something this group would be interested in.
Then send the email and remind them of how they know you and tell them you want to add them to your list so you can send updates about this topic they are interested in.
You would then send them to your sign up squeeze page.
They sign up for the free whatever and now you have them on your list legitimately.
Now that you have this squeeze page you can keep sending people there to sign up for your free (ebook) and continue to build on that.
I did that when I first started my business and now, years later, I'm kicking myself because that portion of my list is people who aren't my ideal client and who aren't necessarily interested in my services.
Instead of adding people, email them and tell them what you do and offer to have them join your list. At least then you know they did it by choice and there's some level of interest, even if that interest is just about supporting your efforts.
Definitely. Just you need to have Email list. There are lost of sellers who sell the email database for particular region or community.
Hi Jeff, It is my understanding that this is an email marketing faux-pas. Doing this can cause you to be labeled a spammer leaving you with long range issues. Be careful when starting your list.
While It's legal (in the US, anyway), it not generally considered a best practice. What you might think about doing is emailing your clients, etc. with a personal note that encourages them to sign-up for your newsletter list. This way, they can actively choose to opt-in, versus being required to actively opt-out should they not be interested in receiving communications from you.
This is not only not a good idea it is an incredibly stupid one.
There is a law enacted in the USA and Canada called the CanSpam act. Under the terms of this law, upon conviction you are liable for an UNLIMITED fine and up to ten years in prison.
What you can do is send a personal email to people you know inviting them to receive information from you.
If you do not have sufficient compelling reasons for them to opt into your campaign then you need to look at your offer and your sales copy.
I hope this helps.
Always give people and respect an opt out but you have to believe what you have to market has value. Using a "sign up" is great but prepare for a very small distribution. You can also do acquisition efforts where you can send people to a link and enable a signup for regular distribution or another pseudo way is to let people "Like" you on Facebook and use that as a permission to mail.
Think back to the origin of direct marketing in the mail. The idea is that 1 or 2% response was often a success. Because there is minimal incremental cost for volume in digital efforts by all means go for volume and deal with objections later.
I prefer the double opt-in approach. Ask permission and sell the advantage of receiving emails (and the frequency). Plus, it's a good opportunity to inquire about what topics, products or services your followers may be interested in. Then, confirm their opt-in as you proceed.
What I can add to the other already brilliant answers here, is simply to reverse the roles. What if people did that to you? Would you like it? Would you be annoyed?
Most of the time you would be annoyed, or even down-right angry. So if you would be annoyed or angry, chances are the people you add will be annoyed or angry.
This pretty much goes for everything in the world. Would you like to have your wallet stolen? No? Then don't steal someone's wallet. Simple as that.
If you want to take it from a religious point of view, adhere to "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Matthew 7:12.
Given that you know these contacts in some fashion, I suggest a double opt-in method. Basically, if these are people you would be likely to send a personal email to, then, in contrast to all the legal eagles here, I say go for it! I speak from experience, not fear.
Letting people know about your new business by inviting them to join your subscription can be managed respectfully and appropriately. Here's how:
First, send an email inviting announcing your new business. Include an opt-in or out to your newsletter. If they opt-in, then you've begun building your list. If they don't respond or opt-out, then don't email them anymore. Or follow-up with a phone call. Yes, the phone still works.
I have a subscription to over 5,500 person to my On-Purpose Minutes. It started the way above when I personally emailed about 100 persons I knew and asked them if they wanted to get my brief videos on personal and business leadership. When you have something valuable to offer and it isn't spamming to a rented list, you are well within the norms of business decorum to reach out to people you know.
You can do your first email manually or use a service like MailChimp, iContact, or Constant Contact. I've used CC for years with success and satisfaction.
I have found that it is usually accepted that you don't just add people to a list without their permission. However, many people do. So the most important thing is to make sure whatever service you are using for your email allows people to unsubscribe. If you get a lot of unsubscribes it can affect your account with certain services such as MailChimp.
No, No and really no! Having an opt-out link is a legal requirement but does not allow you to send unsolicited emails. The best practice is to ask them to opt-in via a web site that records them doing so and time stamps the action.
It is clearly not an easy process but laying the foundation for a solid database is an extremely valuable tool to a company for the future. I would also recommend that you add some profiling questions to the opt in site that would allow you to send highly targeted emails that would likely be of more interest to the recipient.
Generally, I'd say no. I can see some grey areas in a couple of your answers here, such as wording for those people you've spoken with. There are a number of ways to find subscribers, among them is blogging. A rock bottom way to ask for subscribers is to find your target audience and simply call to ask if they'd be willing to subscribe.
This is a definite no. I understand the logic behind wanting to add existing contacts, but this would not be a great use of your time or effort. The most effective email lists are ones that are highly targeted. Simply gathering a master list of all the "clients, friends, acquaintances, LinkedIn contacts, etc." and sending them a newsletter will not result in the type (or level) of engagement that you're probably looking for.
It's most effective to build multiple, targeted lists of truly interested prospects over time.
I have to disagree with the majority of the answers and here and say it is ok in the context you're providing. If you came by their emails through your relationship with them as mentioned then you're fine to add them to a list as long as you have an opt out to comply with can spam. As others have suggested I would start your campaign with an honest introduction to what you're trying to do and invite them to opt in or out if they're interested. None of this is spam, you don't have to convert people you know into an opt in sign up list in order to market to them, that's just silly.
Send them a "jane smart" letter... with their name on it introducing your company and asking them to join your newsletter because it contains... bla, bla
Send them a postcard announcing your newsletter
Send an email to your LinkedIn connections.
But above all, don't put someone on your mailing list who didn't sign up themselves. And don't force someone, who didn't sign up, to have to unsubscribe from something they didn't register for.
Check the Can Spam laws of 1999/updated in 2003.
Most of the experts are against what you what planing to do.
IMO, you can just start with a greeting letter introducing about you, your business and what you offer, but don't sell anything, just seek their interest if they're okay to receive further correspondence.
Do include a highlighted opt-out link so that they can conveniently opt-out, but be prepared a small amount spam reports (a bunch of people is very finicky)
Though I hate unsolicited emails and never encourage such activities but when it comes to first time, so you don't have any other option.
So you may want to tweak it, instead of sending plain newsletter, you may want to invite them for any giveaway, online contest, survey, etc. to create some engagement.
No. This is considered spam. They must opt-in, in order to be added to your list. It is always best to add a disclaimer at the end of your email that states something like "You are receiving this email because you signed up to receive emails from [company name]. If you would like to be removed from the list please click here [link]." You have to give them the opportunity to opt out. Most email marketing programs - Listrak, MailChimp, etc. included these statements standard in their email templates.