Use a "permission pass" message to make sure marketing emails don't negatively affect company reputation.

So you have an email marketing list – now what?

Despite being one of the oldest digital marketing channels, email is still one of the most effective ways to reach new and existing customers online. However, when starting out with a business email campaign for the first time, it can be difficult to figure out how to use a targeted email list in a way that appeals to consumers and doesn't overstep privacy bounds.

Is it really better to ask for forgiveness than for permission?  
As individuals continue to feel inundated by marketing messages, sending a communication to an unknown quantity of consumers for the first time can spur anxiety among businesses. Will recipients find the message interesting? Will they be annoyed? In what way will it reflect on the company? Fortunately, there are strategies for an organization to successfully utilize its email distribution list while avoiding costly errors.

According to MarketingProfs, the "seek forgiveness later" approach is a fool's errand. Instead, companies should consider using what the news source called a "permission-pass campaign." 

"Metaphorically, you're giving those who may no longer (be) interested in your email (or who can't remember whether they ever were) a chance to get off the train before it leaves the station," MarketingProfs explained.

A "permission-pass" message contains a series of elements that not only act as a vehicle for asking individuals to stay on an email mailing list, but also attempt to persuade them of the value in becoming "active" recipients, i.e. those who spur higher open and click rates.

As such, one of the most important things a company will communicate in these messages is the business' relative value. This can be done by outlining the benefits of being part of an email list, including special discounts or savings, insider information, exclusive content and other perks.

However, firms will want to avoid allowing expectations to become unmanageable. 

"If they are going to stay on your list, let subscribers know what kind of communications and especially what sort of frequency they can expect," explained MarketingProfs. "Better yet, if you're launching a rich and diverse email program with many choices, direct subscribers to a sign-up or email preferences center to help them make their decisions."

Email marketing continues to prove itself time and again to be a dynamic way to attract and maintain business. In fact, a recent study from MailerMailer called it the "workhorse tactic" of digital marketing.

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