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If you use a proper email newsletter delivery service such as Constant Contact, Aweber or MailChimp, your subscribers will go through what is known as a ‘double opt-in’. This means that, after submitting their email address through your website form or other link asking them to sign up for your newsletter, they will receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link within it. This is key, as it stops third parties from adding subscribers without their knowledge.
The following series will look at some housekeeping rules, which will ensure that you follow the strict etiquette of email marketing, while presenting yourself and your business in a professional and ethical way.
Make sure your subscribers actually subscribed
There is nothing more annoying than being inundated with unsolicited sales emails. We all hate it. If you are boosting your subscriber list by adding email addresses from business cards you have picked up, trawling the yellow pages or your local Chamber of Commerce’s mailing list, your messages risk not only going straight to the junk mail folder, but also alienating people with whom you might have established good working relationships. Make sure the owner of the email address has requested that you send them information, or, at the very least, has agreed to receive it.
Include a link to your newsletter sign up page on your Facebook profile and from time to time include it in your status. The day that you have sent out your latest issue is a great time to do this.
When you’ve added previous newsletters to your web site, add the page address to your Facebook status. Make sure there is a link to ‘sign up for more articles like these’ at the bottom of the article page.
When you’ve added previous newsletters to your web site, Tweet the link to the article page. Make sure there is a link to ‘sign up for more articles like these’ at the bottom of the article page.
Host back copies of your newsletter on your web site as an archive. At the foot of each article, include a link to your sign up page with a message to ‘sign up to our newsletter for more articles like these’.
Collect business cards and email each one asking for permission to add them to your newsletter list. Do not add them directly without permission as this will not win you many friends!