Grow Your Email Marketing List

You can be forgiven for thinking that email marketing is old news, since the arrival and growth of social media for business. Open any business site and you will see hundreds of how to market on social media articles and very few on email marketing.

But a recent survey by Salesforce found that 69 per cent of marketers in Canada believe that email marketing is core to their business and 60 per cent of marketers worldwide see email as a critical enabler of their products and services.

Since the introduction of CASL in July 2014, building a permission-based email marketing list is as critical to the success of your campaign, as well as responsive design and relevant content. Here are 11 tips to help you build a quality list and achieve success email marketing success.

1. Only Use Email Addresses From Those Who ‘Opt In’

Opt-in means that an individual has voluntarily given you their email address to communicate with them. And is the best way to keep your list CASL compliant. Although you are allowed to send a message to an existing client, in the year following their purchase, it is a lot easier to maintain your database if you get their expressed consent to send messages to them.
By sending emails to users that have not opted in, you run the risk of being marked spam, which can affect your IP reputation. This could mean that even your clients who have asked to receive the email, may no longer receive them, as their firewalls will stop messages from an IP with a poor reputation. If fact, 83 per cent of email delivery failures are caused by a poor reputation of an IP. So keep your reputation clean and increase your open rates, by ensuring those on your list, want to receive your content.

2. Consider Double Opt-In

Although not required here in Canada, double-opt in is considered best practice around the world. This means that once a customer has signed up for your list, you send them a message to confirm they want to be part of it, which they click to verify. Research shows that double-opt in lists have much higher engagement levels over time, which means more opens and clicks for your business.

3. Offer Exclusive Content

A great way to entice subscribers is to offer exclusive content that they would not have had access to before signing up to your list. The content doesn’t just need to be big white papers or research reports, it can be a good infographic which is a handy point of reference, a recipe card, or a sneak peek at some video content before it’s released to the rest of the world. The key is that the subscriber feels good for being able to access this exclusive content.

4. Encourage Users to Share Your Email

A simple way to grow your list is to get your existing subscribers to get their contacts to sign-up too. Simply add a ‘forward to a friend’ button or ‘subscribe’ button to your social media accounts to help build your lists.

5. Collect Email Addresses at Events

Look for offline ways to build your email marketing lists. Going to a tradeshow or event? It’s not only a great opportunity to make new connections, but also grow your email lists. Collect their business cards and ask for permission to add them to your list, then send a message to confirm when you return to the office.

6. Run an In-Store or Social Media Contest

Much like the exclusive content, contests are a great motivator for potential clients to subscribe to your list. Whether it’s an online or in-store contest, make it clear in the terms and conditions that they by entering they are ‘opting in’ to your emails.

7. Segment Your Lists

Dividing your lists can create great opportunities for target marketing. Segments could be those who have already bought from you, and those who have not. Or even segmented by geography, types of product bought or in-store versus online clients. By targeting your content to each group you are likely to have a higher click rate and less opt-outs.

8. Make Your Sign Up Button Prominent and Easy

Don’t make people search your website to sign up to your newsletter. Put it in a prominent place on your home page and on all key landing pages of your website. Make sure the sign up process is as easy as possible too, with just a few fields. You can always ask for more information on them, through a survey later.

9. Don’t Buy Email Lists

Although this might seem like a quick easy win, it is rife with problems. The number of emails you can send in one go might be much larger than you could organically, but this doesn’t mean that your message will actually reach your target market. It is difficult to validate the quality of these lists and will often result in your IP being marked as spam, causing delivery issues to any emails that do reach a valid recipient.

10. Don’t Spam

Spam is defined as an irrelevant or inappropriate message. It is a pain point of many people. By sending unrequested messages to potential customers can damage your reputation.

11. Be Compliant

No organization is exempt from Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, if they send email, communicate on social media or use SMS or instant messaging to contact people in or from Canada. The main themes of the law are about consent to communicate, and providing a way for the user to unsubscribe from the list. For more detailed information visit

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