The folks at Campaign Monitor found that competition entry lists seems to get a disproportionate amount of spam complaints.
A competition entry list is a list where you have entered your email address to win some kind of prize, and at the same time agreed to receive email in the future from the company running the competition. This is completely legitimate, assuming it is made very clear to people signing up that are giving that permission.
"However, even when it is clear we still see a lot more complaints from campaigns to these kinds of lists", says Mathew Patterson.
Why is that?
- There can be a significant time lapse between entering the competition and the first email campaign.
- A big chunk of entrants only signed up for the competition and never wanted extra email anyway.
- It's often easier to hit the spam button than the unsubscribe link.
- The emails often have no apparent connection the original competition.
Fortunately, these issues are all quite simple to combat with small changes.
- On the competition entry page, make it obvious what people are signing up to receive. Don't use vague 'offers from selected partners' language if you can avoid it.
- Send the first non-competition email soon after signup. The longer you wait the less likely people are to remember giving permission. (My advice: send it within two weeks after signup)
- Include a clear permission reminder in each email. It should state specifically that the subscriber signed up by entering the competition (link to the site if it is still available), and also let them get off the list easily.
- Make the competition list double opt-in, so people have a second chance to understand what they are doing, and take a positive action to give permission.
Thanks Mathew for providing us with these guidelines!