Our service requires that your contact list be an opt-in list. This is an important requirement which we impose on all of our hosted clients, to reduce bounces and abuse rates, keep our servers off of black lists, and ensure great deliverability for all of our clients. To read a description of what constitutes an “opt-in” list, and view examples of different types of lists you can or cannot send to, please read through our What is an Opt-In List? article.
If you have collected email addresses via written forms, business cards, contests, or any other physical means, unfortunately you cannot simply enter in these email addresses in to your list and begin sending them campaigns right away. What you can do, however, is email each contact individually, immediately after they give you your email address.
This initial email must be a personal, individual email, from you. It must be sent using your own email client (not a mass mailing application). Usually, this initial email will offer the client more information about your company, product, or service, and thank them for their interest, etc.
If you’d like, you can ask the individual point-blank if they’d like to be subscribed to your email list, and if they respond and say “yes,” you can then manually add them as a new contact to your list. However, the best approach is usually to simply include a link to an online subscription form within your initial email — or at the very least, add a link to your website, where a subscription form can be found. That way, contacts can view your website, see what you have to offer, and then decide if they’d like to subscribe to your newsletter. Adding an incentive to join your newsletter (such as a discount code, or entry to a contest), can sometimes improve your subscription rates.
It is important to send individual emails to these contacts as soon as possible after receiving their contact information, to ensure that they are familiar with your business/organization, and that they remember offering you their email address. The longer you wait, the poorer your response rate will be.
For more information about any feature of ActiveCampaign’s email marketing software, please contact our support team. We’ll be happy to assist you.