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Reconfirming opt-ins: List shrinkage or better ROI?

by Andrew O'Halloran, Chief Privacy Officer

I’ve heard several people complain lately about the idea of reconfirm the opt-in status of their lists. They seem to be afraid that this will result in list shrinkage – that somehow, if we ask people what mail they really want to get, they’ll say “NOTHING”

But that’s just not true. Or, if it is, better to take them off your list than have them complaining to their ISP.

In the old days – when email cowboys would and could mail anything that didn’t mail them first, shrinkage might have been a concern. But in the world of reputation-based email, CAN-SPAM, and other concerns, mailing everything and everyone just doesn’t pay off. In fact, that’s a good way to cause yourself major problems and a guaranteed way to lower your ROI.

Frankly, the more I think about it, the more re-confirmation becomes an important issue to any email marketing campaign you might be considering. It’s less about ensuring that you are CAN-SPAM compliant, or that Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL will deliver your email, than it is about establishing a true relationship with your list. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re in touch with their desires and it’s an essential way of getting a better ROI.

Actually, the more I think about it, forget calling it “reconfirmation”. Call it “targeting. Yes, think about re-confirming opt-ins as a means of better targeting. In turn, think about targeting as meaning a good way of getting more return for mailing less.

How can that possibly be a bad thing?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 at 11:47 am

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