Four clever and sneaky ways to build your business’ mailing list

A strong mailing list filled with active, interested customers is essential to support your company’s marketing efforts – what’s the point in writing a captivating, informative email if you don’t have a robust customer base clicking through to read it? Unfortunately, building a mailing list is tough, especially since the arrival of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation in 2014, which ensures that companies must obtain either implied or express consent from all mailing list members, and that each message must include an unsubscribe mechanism.

So how do you effectively build your mailing list while still staying CASL-compliant? It’s tricky, but it’s not impossible.

4 clever ways to build your mailing list

Attend trade shows and join associations. Many trade shows and associations give attendees temporary, limited access to their own mailing lists, meaning that you would be able to legally market to their list for six months. These members wouldn’t have to agree to your terms and conditions, as you can assume that they have given you implied consent, but you would need to convert their consent to explicit before the end of six months in order to continue to email them. (If you’re confused by the different types of consent you need to remain CASL-compliant, read our previous blog post on the topic.) Not all organizers allow mailing list access, but it’s fairly common, so definitely ask before you register.

Send out joint email newsletters with a strategic partner. Strategic alliances are incredibly beneficial for small- to medium-sized businesses because they increase your capabilities without increasing your overhead. Sending out a joint email newsletter with a partner is effective because you are using both of your email lists for one newsletter, giving you both legal access to each other’s list. To do this properly, you must put both companies’ names in the email the first time, but you then can individually market to each list for six months under implied consent. (Like with the trade show lists, you’ll need to then convert their consent to explicit in order to continue to email them.)

Use implied consent rules to your advantage. Many business owners are unaware of exactly how the implied consent rules work. When a potential customer makes an inquiry to your company, whether via email, phone, or in person, you can legally send email marketing messages to them for the six-month period following. That means you have six months to convert their consent to explicit in order to continue to market to them.

Stay connected with former clients. It’s easy to think that once a client is gone, they’re gone. But when it comes to email marketing, they are not truly out of the picture—at least not yet. Former clients give you implied consent to be added to your mailing list for two years after their last invoice. To continue marketing to them after these two years, you would again need to convert their consent to explicit within that time frame.

Struggling to effectively manage the financial side of your work in progress? We’ll guide you through the process in our next blog post.

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