The dangers of opt-out marketing

Looking to build your list and can’t think of a better way then opt-out acquisition?

Beware there are several things you need to consider.

It’s better to have smaller lists with an engaged audience then a large audience that is only going to report you as spam for being irrelevant to them beyond the purpose of the contest (Shotgun vs. Rifle approach). This has a big potential to harm future messaging campaigns to your users.

I have seen the results of some of these opt-out subscription practises, and it’s not usually a pretty result. Opt-in marketing should be considered as the minimum best practise for all acquisition programs. ISPs are demanding this and many of the largest ESPs are also pushing this practise.

Be aware of any relevant privacy laws you’ll be running up against:

  • PIPEDA in Canada
  • The FTC’s call for “very clear, very conspicuous disclosures” when advertisers are collecting Personally Identifiable Information (yes email is PII)
  • New Zealand’s New anti-spam law

Remember to always email responsibly; It’s not the size of your list, it’s how you use it!

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

Matthew Vernhout is a digital messaging industry veteran and Certified International Privacy Professional (Canada) (CIPP/C) with nearly two decades of experience in email marketing. Matthew is 250ok’s Director of Privacy, and he is currently the Vice Chair of the eec, after serving for several years as the Chair of their Advocacy Subcommittee. Matthew was recognized as the 2019 eec thought-leader of the year.

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