Quality over quantity: building an effective email marketing list

Hi there, my name is Adam and I am the current intern at The Dairy. Having recently completed four years of study at Nottingham Trent University, achieving a First (which I am very proud of), I was eager to gain some agency experience before entering the big wide world of work upon graduating in July. During my placement year I worked for a large multinational corporation where much of the marketing was outsourced, so the opportunity to see what working for an agency is like has been insightful.

As you may be aware, Interns here at The Dairy are tasked with writing a blog post on a topic of their choosing. Having spent months working on my Dissertation this is the perfect opportunity for me to impart my “wisdom”. So buckle up and prepare yourself for 500 words on Permission Email Marketing and why opting-in matters.

Permission Email Marketing was born out of anti-SPAM legislation that put a stop to the barrage of marketing emails in your inbox from companies you have never heard of, promoting things you weren’t interested in. 

Direct marketing legislation now demands that before any promotional communications are sent, recipients are clearly asked to grant permission to be contacted. This is usually accomplished by having a check-box ticked or providing your email address in-store, if in retail settings. The law also states that within each correspondence following permission being obtained it must be clear; who the email is from, the purpose of the email, any associated terms and conditions  and that there is an opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list.

Obtaining permission is the easiest way to ensure compliance and ultimately  results in the curation of email lists containing people that have actively expressed an interest in what you or your company is offering. This promotes an overall improved experience for both the sender and the receiver.

According to Seth Godin, the principal voice in Permission Email Marketing literature, successful email marketing campaigns will be anticipated, personal and relevant to the receiver. Achieving this is far easier when the receiver has expressly given permission to email them. He adds that it is often worth sharing the frequency at which you intend to send emails when permission is being obtained. This ensures recipients are not surprised to see your content in their inbox, instead it is anticipated.

Having clear permission to send marketing emails also aids personalisation of email content. Recording receiver preference to the type of communication they want to receive, be it newsletter, sales promotion or special offer, allows you to tailor your communications accordingly. If executed effectively, emails sent with established permission boast open and click through rates 10x higher than blanketed emails (Campaign Monitor).

This experience can be further enhanced when an email address is linked to an account on a retailers website for example – whereby entirely personalised emails can be sent that consider individuals online behaviour.

Consumer interest in email marketing is dependent on a variety of factors, including but not exclusively;

  • The message relevance: How relevant is the content of the email to that particular receiver
  • Personal information entry cost: Does the receiver have to provide any further personal information to take advantage of a promotion or offer?
  • Message processing cost: Is the content of the email clear and easily understood by the receiver?
  • Monetary benefits: Does email marketing allow any opportunity to save money – this can be by way of direct discounts of signposting to sales/events

Besides the obvious reason of complying with the law, getting permission from customers or potential customers aids in building positive brand equity. This also displays a level of respect between customer and client that can go a long way towards building a positive and profitable relationship. Building an email list with a consideration for the ‘quality’ of the receivers is ultimately far more profitable than a much larger email list that is sent blanketed content.

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