Using my writing skills to create newsletters, marketing content and technical documents is a task I thoroughly enjoy. Many of my clients rely on these skills, specifically for their social media accounts and for communicating with past or prospective clients.

A current client, who manages vacation homes for owners, recently asked me to begin creating monthly newsletters to send out via Mail Chimp or Constant Contact. When I asked her if we had permission from the 6,000 recipients, I could tell I was getting a blank stare over the phone.

“Back in the day,” before permission was required to send out email communications, I recall uploading list upon list, month after month, sending out marketing communications and  largely disregarding non-subscribers.

But now? Getting permission to send emails to specific people is a must. Habits of the past need to be squelched! Generally, there are two types of permission — implied and express.

Campaign Monitor has a guide that explains the differences in these types of permission quite clearly.

“You have implied permission to email individuals if you have an existing business relationship with them, likely because they are a current customer, donate to your charity, or are an active member of your website, club or community.

In order to get express permission to email someone, you need to get them to explicitly opt in to receiving email marketing campaigns from you.”

Why is it crucial to have permission? For businesses that get this right, they will have high open and click-through rates on their campaigns. In turn, this will drive up sales and revenue. Those who ignore getting permission suffer the opposite, low open and low click-through rates. In addition, this is one of those topics that gets talked about negatively and can impact subscription levels.

Need more reasons why it is important to only send campaigns to people who have given permission? According to Campaign Monitor, here are three:

You’ll get better open and click-through rates.

Research shows that the average open rates for email campaigns to recipients who have given you permission to email them is around 30-40%, while the average click-through rate is around 20%.

However, email campaigns sent to lists of subscribers you don’t have permission to email (i.e., because you purchased the list or simply found the email addresses on the internet) have average open rates of around 2% and click-through rates of around 0.2%.

By only sending to people who have given you permission to email them, you’ll likely get open and click-through rates 10x higher than if you were sending to a list of people who did not subscribe.

You’ll get a better return on investment from your email campaigns.

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your email marketing campaigns is simple: It’s the cost of sending the campaign divided by the number of people who took your desired action.

Permission-based email lists have a 40x higher ROI than purchased or scraped email lists.

You won’t destroy your deliverability rates.

Research shows that, when you send campaigns to people you don’t have permission to email, the number of spam complaints you receive increases tenfold.

This is particularly bad because each time you send an email campaign to your subscribers, the big email providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail watch how your subscribers interact with those emails.

If they notice that a lot of people mark your emails as spam, they’ll automatically start sending your campaigns directly to the spam folder for every one of your subscribers using their email service.

Bottom line? You do not want your business’ emails to start landing in the junk folders! Pay attention to permissions and enjoy the results.

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