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"I don't recall signing up to receive this"

by Denise Cox

One of our clients, who of course practices permission email marketing, told me they received this message after a recent mailing of their newsletter:  "I don't recall signing up to receive this." They did the forensics and were able to provide the details to the individual regarding when they opted-in, but wanted to know if they should be concerned.

You can have all the correct and current permission in the world, but if you get an email like this it needs your immediate attention. For some reason you are not being recognised - which is one of the cornerstones for building successful relationships.

Review all aspects of your newsletter to see where the recognition process may be disconnecting:

  • The sign up process: Make sure there's not a long gap between when they sign up and when they first hear from you. For example, after they sign up, send them the most current edition of the newsletter so the subscriber is aware of what it looks like in the inbox.
  • The from and subject line: Are you clearly branded in the from field, is it the same branding as the newsletter itself? Don't have it come from a personal name if that name won't be immediately recognised by your subscribers. Check that your subject lines are not coming across as spammy.
  • In the content: Ensure you have why-you're-receiving-this text. At the most basic level it can be a general reminder at the opening of the newsletter (e.g. Thank you for signing up to our opt-in monthly newsletter.) Consider a segmentation process where upon the first mail the recipient receives from you has very specific details on why they're hearing from you, e.g. "You are receiving this because you gave us permission at the [specifics here] event to send our monthly newsletter to you."
  • In your embedded housekeeping text: Have a general detailed description about the newsletter and what you promise to provide in every edition. E.g. "You will receive this newsletter once a month, and it will contain information about our new [specifics here] releases, etc." This can be in the footer or in the subscription area of your newsletter.
  • In your unsubscribe process: Have a very easy unsubscribe. Permission isn't permanent, and relevance can change - recognise that and make it one-click easy to leave.

Source: Newsweaver

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