Posted 5th October 2009 | By Nick Evans, Chairman

When you set up an email list with the intention of sending out email newsletters to prospects and clients, you need to make sure that you don't step outside the law.

We discussed how having permission to email from all contacts was absolutely essential for any company embarking on email marketing. Now, let's look at maintaining that contact list.
The system you use should do the following:
Capture all new contacts who would like to receive your email newsletter - you can achieve this by having a subscription link on your website which goes to a subscription form. This then in turn links to your subscription list that's held either by you or your email marketing company
When a new contact fills in the form, that person should receive a confirmation mail which says that they have been subscribed (single opt-in) or requires them to click a link to confirm that it was they who requested the subscription (double opt-in)
When someone wants to unsubscribe, they can click a link in your email or on your website and go to an unsubscription form
Once again, they should receive a confirmation that they have unsubscribed (and an option to subscribe again, if they have been unsubscribed in error)
Tell a friend - you'll build your community if people can forward interesting newsletters to their friends and colleagues - this gets built into your subscriber database and, if the recipient then subscribes, your contact list has grown again
All of this is why Subscribe, Unsubscribe and Tell a Friend should be front and centre in all your emails - not just hidden away at the bottom of the page in the small print.
Ensure your email marketing service provider can give you all of those facilities and that they can regularly update your database with exports of the subscription list, highlighting unsubscribes, address changes or gone-aways.

Nick from ExtraMile Communications

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