Permission Reminders: How They Can Affect Your Email Deliverability


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address-book

Where did you get my address???

Like most people, I can be pretty forgetful from time to time. Where did I park my car? Did I lock the back door? What did I do last weekend? Unfortunately, this trend of absentmindedness frequently extends to my inbox.

Often, people sign up to receive email and then simply forget about it. It begins with a customer giving you their email address so they can get that free appetizer, awesome coupon, or support your cause. Unfortunately, by the time your messages reaches your customer’s inbox, the appetizer is long gone and the recipient is left wondering how on earth you got their address.

What are permission reminders?

This is where permission reminders come in super handy. You’ve probably seen them before, but in case you haven’t, they are usually at the top of the email and often go like this: “You are receiving this message because you signed up to be a member of the beer of the month club at Downtown Brewery.” This awesome little block of text provides your recipients with a gentle reminder that they did give you their address and it’s ok that you are sending them messages. The huge benefit of using permission reminders is the potential for increased email deliverability. Deliverability can go up because recipients are much less likely to flag your content as spam when they remember they signed up to receive your messages.

What should my permission reminder include?

There are a few things to keep in mind as you craft your very own stellar permission reminder. First, make sure your reminders are specific as to where and what the customer signed up to receive. Avoid vague phrases such as “because you are a customer,” “because you expressed interest,” or “because of your relationship with X.” These phrases will only make your recipient further question you as a sender. Instead, provide the specifics: “because you dined at our restaurant and signed up for our newsletter with a server,” “because you visited our website and signed up to receive daily deals,” or “because you support public radio and signed up on our website to receive notifications of volunteer opportunities in your area.” The more information you provide your customer, the more they will trust you.

Another really cool thing about permission reminders is that they can also include an unsubscribe link and a request to add your address to the recipient’s address book. Recipients who can easily locate your unsubscribe link are less likely to report your message as spam. No one likes to scour pages and pages looking for a tiny unsubscribe link; the spam button in the recipient’s email client is much easier to find. Put the permission reminder and unsubscribe link at the top of your message. It’s in your best interest to make unsubscribing as easy as possible.

The bottom line

If you aren’t including a well written permission reminder in your messages, you are leaving increased deliverability on the table. Use a specific, detailed permission reminder to combat forgetfulness and spam complaints, while helping recipients remember your brand and stay engaged!

For more email deliverability best practices, download our free Deliverability Guide.


Quintin tries to make the world just a bit more pleasant by working to prevent and eliminate spam. In addition to loving email, Quintin is a hardware junkie and is always interested in the latest and greatest tech gear.

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