We’ve helped a lot of people clean up their email marketing strategy and a pattern we’ve found is sole focus on what’s being sent to your current audience without much thought for how they got there. No one loves a good customer journey as much as we do, but if you’re not building a list with the best opt-in practices then chances are you’re hurting your whole strategy.
Today we’re talking about how to be the consent queen we all want to be in our opt-in process.
Let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room and say, “Yes, you could technically have a large list and no visible issues without a healthy opt-in process”. So then why should you care about fixing anything now? Because those issues are either already there or coming. First off, you could run into legal issues if you are not following legal guidelines for your state, country, or industry.* We can’t cover every law here, but suffice to say there are some common ones you will want to be sure to cover.
Explicit consent is a big one. It’s not enough to just say a contact gave you an email. Did they know they were signing up to receive marketing emails from you? Did they check a box giving that consent? Did they confirm it in their inbox? Do you have a record of it? These are all questions to consider when creating your opt-in process.
While you can have some fun with the language you use for the consent box and have it fit your brand, it should be very clear what’s happening. A good time > “I agree to receive promotional, announcement, and the occasional shower thought email from The Soc·Somu Agency”
Unclear > “I’d love to hear from you”
Secondly, it might be true that you will get fewer opt-ins with a consent process. HOWEVER, you will be building a list of people who definitely want to hear from you. This means more engagement, fewer bounces, fewer unsubscribes, and fewer spam complaints.
This is what we mean when we say the problems are coming. Backtracking later to clean up your list of people who don’t want to hear from you is a lot more trouble than creating a healthy opt-in from the start.
Sidebar: This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up your list if you find yourself in this situation now. We'll cover more on list cleaning in this blog.
You would rather slowly build a list of very targeted and engaged contacts than a quick list of contacts who aren’t interested and are more likely to hit that spam button.
If you’re reading this and realizing you could use some more gatekeeping at your opt-in, no worries. First, get started making those changes now for all new contacts going forward. Then work on cleaning up your current list by removing unengaged contacts and receiving explicit consent from any contacts you didn’t previously have it for.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a more engaged audience and feeling more confident in the community you’ve built. Congrats!
Looking for help with your ActiveCampaign? We’d love to chat! Book a free call here.
-The Soc·Somu Team *This article is an overview of best practices. It does not serve as a complete guide for your specific location, industry, etc. where there may be specific laws you have to follow. You will need to do additional research and/or hire support to be sure you are in compliance.