As a Canadian business, you know that the new Canadian Anti-Spam law came into effect on July 1st.
I would like to say that I am frustrated with the way Canadian government continues to try and strangle our business owners. With the ‘do-not-call’ list (we’ve seen how well this works, NOT), fax/telecommunications laws, and now the anti-spam laws, it is making it very difficult for business owners to reach out to prospective clients and build their lists. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were able to inflict this pain on businesses outside our country being able to bombard us too. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I question their ability to properly govern it. That being said…
If you were like many people, your list was populated with email addresses that you had manually added, had stale/outdated information and it did not contain the necessary information to protect you if you were challenged. Chances are you decided to become compliant and sent out notification to your subscribers to ask them to opt back in. This is where reality probably hit. Are you finding this new law killed your list?
You might have noticed only 10-20% of your initial ‘subscribers’ opted back in to your list. Why is that? There are several factors that contribute to this:
1. Improper Opting In
One of the contributing factors is people not following the proper procedure to opt-in. This is a mandatory 2 step process. They might start by filing in their email etc., but miss the verification email (might be caught in their spam filter) that is required to complete the process. So, they might think they have signed up, when in fact they haven’t.
Tip: Make sure when you are sending out any request to opt-in, that you explain the 2 step process and what is required for full subscription. Also know, people don’t read, so keep it short, clear and place it near the top where they won’t miss it.
2. Email servers block what might be considered spam
It’s possible people never saw that email or even previous ones for that matter. Products like Mailchimp or Constant Contact send emails en masse. There are servers out there that are trained to recognize this types of emails or subject lines and block them or divert them from peoples’ inbox to spam folders or reject them entirely. if your client or prospect uses webmail, they are more likely to see these emails if they are placed in their junk or spam folder. If your prospect uses a product such as Outlook where they pull their mail from the host server, they may miss seeing it altogether. As a test, log into your provider and take a close look at the open-rate of your previous mailings. You might discover the actual open and click through rates are fairly low.
Tip: Products like Mailchimp allow you to test your subject line/content for the likelihood of being caught by spam filters. Educate yourself on how to create mailings that will fly under the radar yet still be compelling.
3. Lack of Time
People are being bombarded all the time with email. Newsletters etc., can be considered ‘non-action’ items and placed in a folder to ‘read later’ or simply falls to the bottom of the inbox pile and never gets read. Therefore, it’s even more important to have compelling subject lines for your mailings to help increase readership.
Tip: Get on a schedule and keep to it and don’t overwhelm your audience with too many mailings or content that is too lengthy. More than 500 words is too much. Get to the point and have a call to action. Remember, you are not the only one emailing them! Be respectful of their time.
4. Loss of Interest
People sign up for content all the time. However for a multitude of reasons, they many lose interest and just delete or ignore the email without unsubscribing. It’s only when you have a call to action like opting back in that you realize they weren’t as invested or engaged as you hoped.
Tip: If you haven’t mailed to your list in over 6 months, chances are you have lost their interest. If they are not signing up for your webinars, seminars, buying your products or services or forwarding your news on to their circles, they are likely not invested in you. It’s time to move on.
I tell my clients to focus their time and energies on those people who are willing to be part of your tribe. Instead of rueing over who hasn’t opted back in, focus your time and energy now on the ones who have and rebuild with a sharper focus.
Stay tuned for my next blog on tips to rebuilding your list. In the meantime, I welcome your feedback. You can reach me by phone or email, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,