Less than a week after CASL went into effect last July, the CRTC received more than 1,000 complaints. Judging by the sharp decline in unsolicited business emails found in my inbox, the legislation seems to be working. Unfortunately for many businesses, CASL negatively impacts the ability for marketers to use legitimately developed double opt-in email lists to build ongoing connections to their customers. In some cases, years of work are rendered useless.
In a time where the increased use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are being used to establish connections with customers, marketers and communicators may be asking themselves if going through the effort of rebuilding their email lists is even worth it.
A bit of Googling reveals some compelling statistics:
- As of 2013, there are 3.6 billion email accounts (Source)
- 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email (Source)
- 91% of consumers check their email daily (Source)
Companies attribute 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel [in 2014], compared to 18% in 2013 (Source)
- 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message. (Source)
- Email Is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter. (Source)
Suffice to say, email remains a powerful way to connect to customers, drive sales or create engagement. And, reintroducing email as a part of your social media strategy does not need to come at the expense of other platforms. In fact, there are a number of practical and easily implementable ways to have them play together. Here are a few simple ideas to reignite your email marketing program.
There is a good chance that Facebook is your company’s primary social media destination. If you are planning on running a promotion using a Facebook tab, this is a great opportunity to ask fans for a valid email address and to ask permission for ongoing communication through email (usually found in that little check box under the email entry field). Or, if you don’t regularly run promotions, consider building a tab for the sole purpose of collecting emails.
If Tweeting is second nature to your company, use promoted Tweets to drive an email acquisition program. You can chose to provide a simple incentive to get your followers to provide you with an email – a white paper, sample product, or other value add that is hosted on your website.
LinkedIn is a great destination property. And, with their focus on promoting brand content to followers through updates, a similar opportunity to drive followers to a signup page is a simple way to increase your reach to potential email program participants.
Take advantage of a captive audience and develop the ability to subscribe to your email list directly from the homepage of your website. Many Content Management Systems have the native ability to perform this task.
Your email signature
CASL does not prohibit you from following up with a post phone call email, or emailing your existing customers. Add a link in your signature to the email sign up page on your website.
And finally, follow a few simple guidelines:
- Always provide the opportunity to opt-out of your email list
- Ensure that there are alternative means to contact you within your email campaigns (i.e. physical address and/or phone number)
- Implement a double-opt in system to validate email addresses
- Make sure that your email campaigns are mobile friendly.