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March 7, 2016
Marketing  |  3 min read

Opt-in Email: Maintaining Permission & Setting Expectations

By Madison Jacobs

Part 2 of the "Best Practices for Permission-Based Email Marketing" series

Hey! Welcome to part two in a series of posts on the best practices for opt-in email marketing. In my first post, I covered how you can avoid being an “accidental” spammer and how you can capture a double opt-in from your prospects. In this post, I will talk about two best practices: how to maintain permission to email over time and how to set expectations for your emails.

Maintaining permission

When a person gives you permission to communicate with them, the clock starts ticking. If you don’t communicate with them as soon as possible, you run the risk of the permission you collected expiring. If this permission dwindles and you send an email, it may be considered spam by the recipient. This results in you incurring spam complaints. As soon as you receive someone’s email address immediately send them a message thanking them and letting them know when you will be emailing again and what you will be sending them. If it has been more than six months since the last time you emailed one of your prospects, you should work on gaining their permission again. You can do this simply by sending them an opt-in email making sure they still want to hear from you. This way, you can get them to opt-in again or clean them off of your list if they opt out.

Setting expectations

In your very first email that you send to someone, like I stated above, you want to set expectations about two things: frequency and content.

  • Frequency: Make sure you tell them how often they are going to receive emails from you. So, if you send a newsletter every month, tell them that. They opted in so they want your content and they want to know when they are going to get it. Remember, you want people expecting your email. You don’t want people to be surprised or upset that you are emailing them.
  • Content: Always let your subscribers know what kind of content you are going to be sending them. If they signed up for a newsletter, give them a preview of upcoming content at the end of the current newsletter.

People are much more likely to open your emails and read them if you tell them what is coming and when it’s coming. If you haven’t set expectations correctly, you’re likely to get span complaints from people who receive unexpected messages in their inbox. In part three of this series, I will chat about how you allow subscribers to manage their permissions and how you can provide value in every email you send. 


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