Opting In: Did You Really Get Permission to Send Them Email?


Posted on

Man Gesturing StopAll great email programs start with one thing – an active email list. However building a highly engaged subscriber list can be a challenge causing frustrated senders to use tactics that may be less than desirable. When trying to increase your subscriber base there is one question you should always ask yourself – did I get PERMISSION to send this subscriber email.

The answer to that question lies in your data collection practices. And this is the area of email deliverability over which you have the most control. To start, reevaluate how people opt-in for your email program. Do they enter their email address and hit the subscribe button? Do they have to uncheck a box in order NOT to be added to your list, or do you simply add them to multiple types of email communication even though they signed up for a specific event, like a webinar?

The art and science of building a great email list is to fill it with permission based subscribers.  These people have said “Yes, send me this type of email.” While each of the above methods has pros and cons, the latter choices leave you more vulnerable to complaints and email delivery problems.  Don’t assume that because they signed up for your newsletter that they want every other email communication your company produces.

Instead of guessing and potentially ticking of your subscriber, ask them! Here are a few tips.

  • Set up a preference center. Let them choose the type of email they wish to receive and the frequency at which they want to hear from you. By putting them in control of their inbox, you will avoid deliverability problems and gain subscribers that will happily engage with your product or service.
  • Use double opt-in to confirm the subscription. By sending an email that requires the subscriber to activate their subscription, you can affirm the relationship with the subscriber.
  • Send a welcome email once the subscription is active. This reminds the subscriber of the benefit of receiving messages from you.
  • Eliminate non-responders. If people are clicking on your messages, remove them from your list or send a win back promotion. If they fail to respond at that point, they are essentially confirming that they are no longer interested in hearing from you. For current customers, this is something you can easily do using the Event API.

To learn more about email deliverability best practices, download the SendGrid Deliverability Guide. It has everything you need to know about delivering email through your application.


Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

Carly Brantz on Twitter

One thought on “Opting In: Did You Really Get Permission to Send Them Email?

  1. Funny how you guys recommend "double opt-in confirmations", but do not support them with your subscription widget. Guess we're going back to Infacta soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>