Update — August 5, 2014: We've now set up a survey to find out how your email marketing is going, post-CASL. Mind taking a minute and filling it out? We'll present the results in September.
Lately I can’t look at my Twitter feed without stumbling across a marketer moaning about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. It’s ruining their lists! It’s destroying their business! The marketing apocalypse has arrived! We all need to take a big breath here. This is not an emergency, do not sound the alarm. This is reasonable and fair internet practice, and it’s actually a blessing in disguise.
1. You didn’t need all those subscribers anyway.
If you’ve been signing people up based on implied consent, newsflash, those people do not care about you. They are pieces of paper caught in the whirlwind of your enthusiasm for numbers and metrics, not sales prospects. This is the email equivalent of a cold call, and if implied consent sales conversions constitute a sizeable chunk of your sales then I bow to the master. (Hint: They never do.)
People who are actually interested in you and your product will opt-in. Period.
2. Your brand associations will be more positive.
During the blitz of emails I’ve been getting that say some version of “hey you have to opt-in now so we can share our exciting widgets!”, I’ve learned some valuable things about who has been abusing my email address.
If I gave you my email address to get an email receipt, I did not consent to receive three-times-daily emails about your endless 40% off sales. Every time I see your name I silently wish you ill. Plus I know I don’t have to rush in because apparently you’re on some sort of permanent clearance; I need only wait 12 hours for your next “big sale.”
Yeah, you are getting attention from your customers, these implied consenters. They’re cursing you for spamming them. Not exactly what you were hoping for in terms of brand associations, right?
3. You will build the holy grail – the engaged email list.
Your new subscriber list, the one you curated by asking people to join up again, is going to be bursting at the seams with clickers. Metrics nerds, prepare for record-smashing click-through rates. People who click-through and are interested enough in your product to do so are the holy grail of marketing. These people are your real sales leads.
4. You will have a chance to actually stand out from the noise.
I receive over 40 marketing emails daily. Most people receive about 416 marketing emails in an average month. But with the introduction of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, that onslaught is going to slow considerably.
People are passively unsubscribing to boring or irrelevant content, and it is a glorious new age. Inboxes are going to be cleaner than ever. So instead of drowning in a sea of daily deals, you stand a better chance of getting eyes on your subject line. Now would be a good time to learn how to write a good one.
5. You need this push to become a better marketer.
Your new job is to convince people they can’t live without receiving your emails. You’re going to have to work harder. You’re going to have to learn more about what makes your customers tick. You can’t rely on mining email addresses from your customer files anymore, you have to create fans.
Admit it, you’re mad because you’ve gotten complacent. You thought the gravy train of email addresses was going to keep going, pouring thousands of unwitting subscribers into your lap.
TL;DR: We all have to up our game. In the meantime, excuse me, I have to resubscribe to the DQ Blizzard Fan Club.
Great post Jill – Dana shared it through LinkedIN.
I agree with most of the points, the only issue I have is prospects that are in your list that gave you consent, say on the phone, will need to re-verify through E-Mail if they’re on a marketing drip.
You’re almost better off just calling each one of them again (depending how recently you’ve touched them), and re-verifying that they’d like to be kept in the loop – you’d get much better engagement.
Andrew, our sales reps are doing just that. It’s an awesome excuse to call a client you haven’t spoken to in a while and tell them about the changes.