In the old times—the wild west of email marketing—anything went. You could send customers multiple emails a day. They would likely open every one, because they weren’t getting a volume of emails, so they were excited about the prospect of hearing from one of their favourite companies.
Times have certainly changed. Business email users send and receive an average of 121 emails per day and, according to a study by Radicati, that number is expected to increase to 140 by 2018. Mobile email use is also expected to double to over 2.2 billion sent by the end of 2018.
While not all companies are targeting business email users, these numbers reflect just how much email the majority of us receive during a typical workday. Combine that with our personal email accounts and it’s easy to see how our inboxes can get overwhelming.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requires implied or express consent to promote your organization, products or services through email, and certain details must be included on every message. But once you have their permission, it’s important to keep the following best practices in mind.
It’s a Trust Signal
By agreeing to an email list opt-in request, most users are sending you a trust signal; they believe you aren’t going to take advantage of their inboxes. They are interested in what you have to say, and even if it’s part of a download or offer requirement, they trust your company enough to say “Yes.”
However, what some brands forget is that trust is a two-way street. Beyond the legal requirements, businesses need to live up to customers’ expectations by following best practices, maintaining integrity, and respecting their customers’ time.
Set Up Expectations
Another aspect of creating a foundation of trust during the opt-in process is allowing customers to see just what they are signing up for.
This daily email newsletter landing page from eMarketer, for example, follows the best practices for email. It allows users to set their expectations accordingly:
- Frequency It states that it is daily, so customers know when they sign up that they will receive a daily email from eMarketer. Make sure your subscribers know when to expect your emails to increase their satisfaction with your email marketing.
- Sample Potential subscribers can view of a sample of the current email so they know what content they are going to receive. Try to update this regularly to keep the opt-in box looking fresh.
- Choice to Receive Additional Emails Below the form there’s a visible checkbox with the option to receive additional emails from eMarketer. It is clear about what the “FYI” mailings entail, and it’s not difficult to uncheck the box.
Cultivate a Healthy Email List
With its opt-in form, eMarketer is doing more than setting up a trusting, honest relationship with their email subscribers. Being clear during the sign-up process will also cut down on the number of unsubscribes that your mailing list will receive. Additionally, it will likely increase your open rate and click-through rate (CTR).
An improvement in metrics that’s attributable to a healthy email subscription list is in all companies’ best interests. This is why many brands and influencers also regularly delete inactive users (after running a re-engagement campaign first).
Even if they haven’t hit unsubscribe themselves, by only keeping subscribers on your list who want to receive your emails, you can cut costs (if your email platform package is based on mailing list size), increase open rate and other important percentages, and make sure you aren’t creating negative experiences. With your email subscriber list, you have the opportunity to cultivate an honest, trustworthy relationship with your customers and reap the benefits.