Marketers committed to a permission-based email strategy have an understandable urge to remind subscribers of the fact, especially when they're being unfairly flagged as spammers. In a post at the Email Marketing Reports blog, Mark Brownlow highlights the type of copy often used to justify legitimate messages. But there's a problem here. If statements like the following accurately describe your subscription policy, shouldn't they go without saying?

  • This is NOT SPAM.
  • We are not spammers and are against spamming of any kind.
  • You have received this email because you expressed interest in our products in the past.
  • This email is sent in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

"Permission-based email has its own in-built justification," says Brownlow. "[P]eople explicitly requested it." So when you insist your message isn't spam, already-wary recipients begin to think that's exactly what it is.

Reminding people that they subscribed is not an effective way to pre-empt spam complaints and unsubscribe requests. "Instead," he says, "you have to ask why people [may not] want your email anymore. What can you do about it? And if you can't do anything about it, are you at least making it as easy as possible for them to get off your list?"

The Po!nt: If they like you, let them be. "If you have to justify yourself," concludes Brownlow, "then chances are you haven't got the right kind of permission from people on your list."

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