For the most part, list brokers operate under a “buyer beware” clause, with most of their rented or purchased list stock coming from third party online competition entries, or scraped from the web using automated software bots. Email contacts who opt into their list are actually agreeing to receive emails from the list building company, not your company.
And it makes common sense that if a recipient doesn’t know you or recognise your brand, they are more likely to mark your email as spam when it arrives in their inbox. You would be quite upset if you found a stranger sitting in your lounge room, most people would call the police. So, why should a contact open your email? And, if they don’t remember you or remember opting into your communications, who can blame them for reporting you?
When collecting new subscribers through opt-in forms, competition entries and landing pages, to build your own marketing list, it is important your subscribers know what they are signing up for. And by respecting their privacy, you can build a trusting relationship with them, that will eventually lead to better open and click rates.
To build trust we recommend you Telemarket the prospects and gain their opt-in consent and email address before sending out any email marketing campaigns, which means you are firstly complying with the Act, and secondly you also have a chance to pitch your product or service to the prospect at the same time
However, to be clear the Spam Act clearly distinguishes between permissions as follows:
- Inferred – those you have an existing and ongoing relationship with (eg subscribed to a service, has an account or membership) and so any messages sent to them directly must relate to that relationship
- Express – those who know and accept that they will receive marketing messages and emails from you (e.g. filled in a form, ticked a box on the website, over the phone or agreed face to face).
When collecting email addresses, we recommend that you make it clear they will be subscribed to your marketing list. Having a prefilled checkbox indicating subscribing to receive marketing material is no longer sufficient to avoid breaking the law (see below for the double opt-in method to assist with this)..
Think about it this way: If you are providing useful information, then the contact will want to receive your emails and won’t unsubscribe but if you end up sending too many or content that is not related to their relationship with you (inferred permission) then you will start to lose them anyway.
Use double opt-in
Australian Spam Laws require Australian marketers to provide a double opt-in process, which will doubly confirm they are actually giving their consent to be on your marketing list. This means, once they opt-in via a newsletter form, they will receive an email asking them to confirm their intent to subscribe. This not only reduces your bounce rate by verifying their email address, it will also prevent someone else using their email address to subscribe to marketing they are not interested in.
Master Rule #4: Don’t send an email unless you have the contact’s approval to do so.
Just remember, you must gain the individual opt-in consent of each prospect on your marketing list via telemarketing, prior to sending them anything by email. Read on…the next blog in the series covers how to grow your opt-in email list.
Have any questions or need a hand? Get in contact with us today and one of our email marketing consultants will get in touch.