One of your clients has just come to you with a really snazzy new subscriber list – a few-hundred email addresses – and is itching to have his regular monthly newsletter sent to these contacts. “Where did you get these email addresses?” you ask. “Oh, they’re from business cards I picked up at a trade fair”. What could possibly go wrong?

Declaring permission

Permission can be a minefield for both new and experienced email marketers alike. The problem is only compounded when clients bring along their own subscriber lists. Unless your client has explicit permission to send them email, a number of unfortunate situations can arise.

This is why at Campaign Monitor we have a strict anti-spam policy to ensure your list is legitimate. In short, there are some lists we will not accept, including:

We also have an approval process prior to sending your first large campaign. Have a look at our help topic to see how this works.

What happens if my client doesn’t have permission?

We can’t ensure that all contacts that are imported into subscriber lists have stated their consent to be emailed. In the case of your clients providing lists, make sure you read this handy reference to help you better check your clients have obtained permission. If it all sounds a little tricky, here are some good reasons why you should ensure your clients’ subscriber lists know what they’re in for:

So, who pays the price when a campaign is sent to a subscriber list, without seeking the recipients’ permission first? The answer is – Everyone.

Starting on the right foot with new subscribers

Now you’ve verified that your clients’ new list is legitimate, you may not want to go gung-ho into emailing them at any time of day or night. Here are some smart ways to engage your new subscribers:

Emailing your subscribers for the first time is like a real-life introduction – first impressions count, so take the right steps to ensure a harmonious and lasting relationship.


As you can see, gaining permission is not rocket-science if you understand the process from the get-go. Plus, it only makes sense – with a combination of best practice and an understanding of our approvals process, your client will be sending to their happy, responsive list in no time. Ignoring permission simply leads to a dead-end.

Are your clients permission-savvy? We would love to hear of your experiences, good and bad alike. Add them below as a comment, or send us your questions!

  • http://www.critsend.com Nicolas Toper

    If you are interested, we can help you weed out good deliveries from bad ones. We spent a lot of times developing tech to do that for us.

    Let me know if you would like to hear more.

  • http://notmylawyer.com Jesse Lamb

    An indemnity provision in your agreement where the client agrees to cover your losses and liability resulting from their use of Campaign Monitor or any of the services you provide can help to limit your liability in these situations.

  • http://www.redrocket.co.uk Tim Burley

    All the problems we have occur with new clients who have been using email with another service – one that doesn’t really care about permission as long as the money’s flowing in. They say “the list is fine, we’ve been using it for a couple of years”, and then wonder why it attracts a high number of spam complaints.

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