Back to blog

The importance of consent in email marketing

November 18, 2023 | Jimit Mehta

Picture this: You wake up to an inbox flooded with emails from businesses you've never heard of, all promoting their products and services. You start scrolling through, trying to find the ones that actually interest you, but instead, you feel bombarded with irrelevant and unwanted messages. Sounds frustrating, right? This is exactly why consent is crucial in email marketing. It's not just about following legal requirements; it's about building a trusting relationship with your audience and ensuring that they genuinely want to receive your content. In this article, we'll explore the importance of consent in email marketing, and why it's a vital factor in building a successful and sustainable email strategy. So, if you're a marketer looking to improve your email game, or just someone who's tired of receiving unwanted emails, keep reading!

Understanding the definition of consent in email marketing

When it comes to email marketing, consent is a term that gets thrown around a lot. But what does it really mean? Essentially, consent in email marketing refers to getting permission from someone to send them marketing emails. This means that the person has actively opted in to receiving your emails and has given you their explicit permission to do so.

It's important to note that there are different types of consent, and not all are created equal. For example, there's implied consent, which may apply when there is an existing relationship between the sender and the recipient. However, this type of consent may not be sufficient in all cases, and explicit consent is generally considered to be the gold standard for email marketing.

Explicit consent means that the person has taken a clear and affirmative action to opt in to your emails. This could be filling out a form on your website, checking a box indicating they want to receive your emails, or responding to a confirmation email. The key is that the person has taken a deliberate action to give you their consent.

In summary, understanding the definition of consent in email marketing means recognizing that you need to get explicit permission from people to send them marketing emails. It's important to understand the different types of consent, and to strive for explicit consent whenever possible. By doing so, you can build a more engaged and receptive audience, and avoid running afoul of legal requirements and spam filters.

Personalize every website interaction
Try for free

Legal requirements for obtaining consent

When it comes to email marketing, legal compliance is crucial, and obtaining consent is no exception. In fact, there are laws in place that govern how you can collect and use people's email addresses for marketing purposes. In the United States, the primary law that applies to email marketing is the CAN-SPAM Act. In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets the standard.

Under these laws, there are certain requirements that you must meet in order to obtain lawful consent from your subscribers. For example, your email must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of what people are signing up for, and how their information will be used. You also need to include a way for people to opt out of your emails at any time, and honor those opt-out requests promptly.

Another important requirement is that you must not mislead people into giving you their email address. This means that you can't use deceptive tactics, such as hiding the fact that someone is signing up for marketing emails, or promising something that you can't deliver.

Finally, you need to be able to prove that you obtained consent from your subscribers. This means that you should keep a record of when and how people signed up for your emails, and be prepared to demonstrate that you followed all of the legal requirements.

In summary, legal requirements for obtaining consent in email marketing are designed to protect consumers and ensure that marketers are transparent and respectful in their practices. By following these requirements, you can build a more sustainable and trustworthy email marketing strategy that benefits both you and your subscribers.

How to obtain explicit consent from subscribers

Obtaining explicit consent from your subscribers is an important part of email marketing. When you have explicit consent, you can be confident that your subscribers want to receive your emails and are more likely to engage with your content. Here are some tips for obtaining explicit consent from your subscribers:

  1. Use clear and specific language: Make sure your subscribers know exactly what they're signing up for. Be transparent about what types of emails they'll be receiving, how often they'll be sent, and what the content will be. Use clear and concise language that's easy to understand.

  2. Use a double opt-in process: This means that subscribers need to take two steps to confirm their subscription. They first enter their email address on your website or sign-up form, and then they receive a confirmation email. They need to click on a link in the confirmation email to finalize their subscription. This process ensures that the person is really interested in your emails and that they are the ones who signed up.

  3. Offer incentives: Offering an incentive like a discount code, free guide or e-book, or exclusive content can be a great way to encourage people to sign up for your emails. Just be sure that the incentive is relevant to your target audience and something that will encourage them to engage with your emails.

  4. Make it easy to unsubscribe: This may sound counterintuitive, but making it easy for people to unsubscribe from your emails is actually a good thing. It helps you maintain a high-quality email list by ensuring that the people on your list really want to be there.

By following these tips, you can obtain explicit consent from your subscribers and build a high-quality email list that will help you achieve your marketing goals.

The benefits of obtaining consent

Obtaining consent from your email subscribers has many benefits for both you and your subscribers. Here are some of the most important benefits of obtaining consent:

  1. Better engagement: When subscribers have explicitly given their permission to receive your emails, they are more likely to open and engage with them. This means higher open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, better conversion rates.

  2. Improved deliverability: Email providers like Gmail and Yahoo use engagement metrics to determine whether your emails are sent to the inbox or the spam folder. When subscribers actively engage with your emails, your sender reputation improves, and your emails are more likely to be delivered to the inbox.

  3. Stronger relationships: When you obtain consent from your subscribers, you're showing that you respect their time and attention. This can lead to stronger relationships, increased loyalty, and better long-term results.

  4. Legal compliance: As we mentioned earlier, there are laws in place that govern how you can collect and use people's email addresses. Obtaining consent is not only the ethical thing to do, it's also the law. By obtaining explicit consent, you can avoid legal issues and potential fines.

  5. Cost savings: When you have a high-quality email list, you can save money by avoiding sending emails to people who aren't interested in your content. This can reduce your email marketing costs and improve your ROI.

In summary, obtaining consent from your email subscribers has many benefits. It can lead to better engagement, improved deliverability, stronger relationships, legal compliance, and cost savings. By focusing on obtaining explicit consent and building a high-quality email list, you can achieve your marketing goals and build a loyal audience.

Risks and consequences of not obtaining consent

Not obtaining consent from your email subscribers can have serious risks and consequences. Here are some of the most important risks to keep in mind:

  1. Legal issues: As we mentioned earlier, there are laws in place that govern how you can collect and use people's email addresses for marketing purposes. If you don't obtain consent, you may be violating these laws and can be subject to legal action or fines.

  2. Damage to your reputation: If you send emails to people who haven't given you permission, you're likely to get marked as spam. This can damage your reputation with email providers and make it harder for your emails to be delivered in the future.

  3. Poor engagement rates: When you send emails to people who haven't given you permission, they are less likely to open and engage with them. This can lead to lower engagement rates and reduced effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

  4. Wasted resources: Sending emails to people who haven't given you permission can be a waste of your time and resources. You'll be spending time creating and sending emails to people who aren't interested in your content, which can lead to a lower return on investment.

  5. Loss of trust: When you send emails to people who haven't given you permission, you're essentially breaking their trust. This can lead to a loss of trust in your brand and ultimately result in lost customers.

In summary, not obtaining consent from your email subscribers can have serious risks and consequences. It can result in legal issues, damage to your reputation, poor engagement rates, wasted resources, and a loss of trust. By focusing on obtaining explicit consent and building a high-quality email list, you can avoid these risks and build a loyal audience.

The impact of consent on email deliverability

The impact of consent on email deliverability is significant. Email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and others use a variety of metrics to determine which emails to deliver to the inbox and which to send to the spam folder. One of the most important metrics they use is engagement, which is how subscribers interact with your emails.

When you obtain consent from your subscribers, they are more likely to engage with your emails. This means they're more likely to open, click, and reply to your emails, which sends positive signals to email providers. As a result, your sender reputation improves, and your emails are more likely to be delivered to the inbox.

On the other hand, if you send emails to people who haven't given you permission, they are more likely to mark your emails as spam. This sends negative signals to email providers, which can damage your sender reputation and hurt your deliverability. Additionally, email providers may flag your emails as spam, which can cause your emails to be delivered to the spam folder or blocked altogether.

In summary, obtaining consent is essential for good email deliverability. When you have permission from your subscribers, they're more likely to engage with your emails, which improves your sender reputation and ultimately leads to better deliverability. By focusing on building a high-quality email list and obtaining explicit consent, you can ensure that your emails are delivered to the inbox and seen by your subscribers.

Best practices for managing subscriber preferences

Managing subscriber preferences is an important part of email marketing. By giving your subscribers control over what they receive from you, you can improve engagement and reduce unsubscribes. Here are some best practices for managing subscriber preferences:

  1. Make it easy to update preferences: Provide a clear and simple way for subscribers to update their preferences. This could be a link in your emails, a preference center on your website, or an option in their account settings.

  2. Offer multiple options: Give subscribers a range of options for what types of emails they want to receive from you. For example, you could offer a choice between newsletters, promotional emails, and event invitations.

  3. Be transparent: Clearly explain what each option means so subscribers can make informed decisions. For example, let them know how often they can expect to receive each type of email.

  4. Respect preferences: Once subscribers have updated their preferences, make sure you respect them. Don't send them emails they haven't opted into, and don't continue to send them emails after they've unsubscribed.

  5. Regularly remind subscribers about their preferences: Include a link to the preference center in each email you send, and periodically remind subscribers about their options for updating their preferences.

By following these best practices, you can help ensure that your subscribers are receiving the types of emails they want from you. This can improve engagement, reduce unsubscribes, and ultimately lead to a more loyal and engaged audience.

Strategies for maintaining consent and preventing list fatigue

Maintaining consent and preventing list fatigue is essential for successful email marketing. Here are some strategies for keeping your subscribers engaged and avoiding list fatigue:

  1. Set expectations: Let subscribers know what they can expect when they sign up for your emails. Tell them how often they'll receive emails from you and what types of content they can expect to receive.

  2. Send relevant content: Make sure your emails are relevant to your subscribers' interests. Use segmentation and personalization to send targeted content that's tailored to their preferences.

  3. Monitor engagement: Keep an eye on your engagement rates and adjust your email frequency or content as needed. If subscribers are consistently not opening your emails or engaging with your content, it may be time to adjust your strategy.

  4. Clean your list: Regularly clean your email list by removing inactive subscribers or those who haven't engaged with your emails in a while. This can help improve your engagement rates and prevent list fatigue.

  5. Provide value: Make sure your emails are providing value to your subscribers. This could include exclusive content, discounts, or other incentives that are only available to your email subscribers.

  6. Make it easy to unsubscribe: While it may seem counterintuitive, making it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe can actually help improve engagement rates. If subscribers feel like they can't easily opt out of your emails, they may mark them as spam instead.

By following these strategies, you can help ensure that your subscribers remain engaged and interested in your emails over time. This can help prevent list fatigue and keep your email marketing campaigns effective and successful.

Examples of effective consent-based email campaigns

Effective consent-based email campaigns are those that are sent to subscribers who have explicitly given their permission to receive them. These campaigns can be highly effective at engaging and converting subscribers, as they are more likely to be interested in the content you're sending them. Here are a few examples of effective consent-based email campaigns:

  1. Welcome series: When someone signs up for your email list, send them a welcome series of emails that introduce them to your brand, provide useful information, and incentivize them to take action. This is a great way to engage new subscribers and build a relationship with them.

  2. Promotions and discounts: If you're running a promotion or offering a discount, send an email to subscribers who have expressed interest in your products or services. Make sure to highlight the benefits of the promotion or discount and include a clear call to action.

  3. Personalized recommendations: Use subscriber data and segmentation to send personalized recommendations based on subscribers' preferences and behavior. This can include product recommendations, content suggestions, or event invitations.

  4. Triggered emails: Set up triggered emails that are sent based on subscriber behavior, such as abandoned cart reminders, post-purchase follow-ups, or win-back campaigns for inactive subscribers. These emails can be highly effective at re-engaging subscribers and driving conversions.

  5. Newsletters: Send regular newsletters that provide valuable content, such as industry news, how-to guides, or customer success stories. Newsletters can help build a relationship with your subscribers and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

When sending these types of emails, it's important to make sure you have obtained explicit consent from your subscribers. By focusing on providing value and building a relationship with your subscribers, you can create effective consent-based email campaigns that drive engagement, conversions, and ultimately, revenue for your business.

Building trust and loyalty through consent-based marketing

Building trust and loyalty with your subscribers is crucial for long-term success in email marketing. When subscribers give their consent to receive your emails, they are placing their trust in you to deliver valuable and relevant content. By focusing on consent-based marketing, you can build a stronger relationship with your subscribers and create a sense of loyalty that can translate into increased engagement and revenue. Here are some ways to build trust and loyalty through consent-based marketing:

  1. Respect subscriber preferences: Make sure you are sending emails that are relevant to your subscribers' interests and preferences. Use segmentation and personalization to ensure that your content is tailored to their needs.

  2. Be transparent: Be transparent about what subscribers can expect when they sign up for your emails. Let them know how often they'll receive emails and what types of content they'll receive.

  3. Provide value: Make sure your emails are providing value to your subscribers. This could include exclusive content, discounts, or other incentives that are only available to your email subscribers.

  4. Listen to feedback: Encourage subscribers to provide feedback on your emails and take that feedback into account when planning future campaigns. This can help build a sense of community and show that you value their opinions.

  5. Honor unsubscribe requests: Make sure it's easy for subscribers to unsubscribe from your emails and honor those requests promptly. This can help build trust and show that you respect their wishes.

By focusing on consent-based marketing and building a relationship of trust and loyalty with your subscribers, you can create a strong foundation for long-term success in email marketing. When subscribers feel that you value their preferences, provide value, and listen to their feedback, they are more likely to remain engaged and loyal over time. This can help increase engagement, conversions, and ultimately, revenue for your business.

Final thoughts

In the world of email marketing, obtaining consent from your subscribers is critical for building a successful and sustainable email marketing strategy. Consent-based marketing ensures that you are sending emails only to those who have explicitly given you permission to do so, which can help build a sense of trust and loyalty with your subscribers. In this article, we covered the legal requirements for obtaining consent, strategies for maintaining consent, and the risks of not obtaining consent.

We also discussed the benefits of consent-based marketing, such as improved deliverability rates and increased engagement, and provided examples of effective consent-based email campaigns. By following best practices for managing subscriber preferences and focusing on building a relationship of trust and loyalty with your subscribers, you can create a successful email marketing strategy that drives engagement, conversions, and revenue for your business.

Want to personalize your emails and landing pages? Try Markettailor for free.


Related posts

The Importance of UTM Tagging for Customer Journey Mapping

As digital marketers, we're always looking for ways to improve our campaigns and better understand our target audience. One effective way to do this is by tracking user behavior through the use of UTM tags. But how does this tie into mapping the customer journey? By incorporating UTM tags into your...

Read more

The Impact of UTM Tagging on Cross-Device Tracking

Have you ever wondered how companies are able to track your online behavior across multiple devices and deliver relevant advertisements to you? The answer lies in UTM tagging. UTM tags, or Urchin Tracking Module tags, are simple snippets of code that are added to the end of a URL to track where...

Read more