Email marketing has become the go-to marketing channel for many marketers. The reason for this is simple: Besides affording marketers high ROIs, it is a more personal method of communicating with prospects and customers.
For you to get the benefits of email marketing, however, you need to create and grow your opt-in email lists.
What is an opt-in email list?
An opt-in email list is a collection of email lists with information that your subscribers have willingly given to you. This means they are aware that you are adding them to your list and agree to receive mass emails, newsletters, or other forms of digital communication from you.
With laws concerning the collection and use of personal data continually changing, it is now wiser to employ a double opt-in when growing your email list.
A double opt-in simply means a new subscriber will receive a confirmation email where they will click a link to confirm that they genuinely want to be added to your list.
This method also has an added benefit in that it ensures your list is only built up of people who really want to engage with your emails.
Source: Elegant Themes
In order for subscribers to sign up to receive emails from you, they have to fill in a subscription form, usually online.
How do I know if my current list is an opt-in list or not?
One thing you’ll need to know is that not every email database is an opt-in email list. Treating them as such could lead to some serious repercussions. So how do you determine if your list is an opt-in email list?
If your subscribers permitted you to send the emails by subscribing or by ticking a box, then it’s an opt-in email list.
However, if you obtained email lists but not the permission to send emails, then it is not an opt-in email list. Examples, in this case, include emails obtained from:
- Business cards
- Your website
- Online Purchases
- Rented or purchased lists
To be on the right side of the law, you’ll need to understand what you can and cannot do with your different types of lists.
Does it really matter?
Here are the three main reasons why you should take opt-in seriously:
1. To comply with regulations
One of the main reasons you should be serious about an opt-in email list is that there are laws that govern the sending of emails. These are mostly meant to deter unsolicited communication. Two of the most common regulations are the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States and the GDPR laws in the European Union.
2. Avoid tarnishing your brand image
People want to be in control of their inboxes. For most, that means being able to regulate the type of emails they receive. Sending emails to subscribers that have not opted in for your correspondence is a fast way to get yourself reported for spamming. That, in turn, will lead to your Sender Score and deliverability being affected.
3. Grow an engaged list
By choosing to build an opt-in email list, you ensure that a greater number of your subscribers are interested in what you have to offer. This results in you having a highly-engaged (and profitable) list. This is one of the main reasons you should stay away from unethical practices such as renting or buying lists, as they rarely engage.
Now that you know what an opt-in email list is and why it matters so much, try revisiting your list to determine if your subscribers opted in or not.
The main purpose of growing an email list is to build a relationship with your subscriber, and a key component of relationships is that they are mutual. Opt-in ensures that your relationship with your subscriber is mutual.
Check out our other helpful resource on how to properly manage your opt-in email list for further information on list management and email marketing best practices.