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Top 15 Ways to Build Your Permissions Based List


Now that everyone is back from summer and in the swing of things, it is time to get to work! This month, we further August's good to know subject of Email Marketing 101 and examine how to build a permissions based contact list. This is the topic in September's good to know.

We'd love to hear how you are incorporating email marketing into your business plan. Drop us a line and let us know. Feel free to send us your thoughts and requests. We are always interested in what you have to say!


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good to know

In every issue, we provide proven ways to make your website, email marketing and promotion activities more effective. Last month we reviewed the basics of Email Marketing and why it is important.

This month, we take a look at the cornerstone to a great email marketing presence.... building a permissions based email address list.

Top 15 Ways to Build Your Permissions Based List

By Morella

The definition of a "permissions based email list"

ESP's (email service provider) define permissions based email addresses as:

Email addresses from people who have given you permission to send email communications to them. You may obtain these contacts through your website or paper sign-ups, telephone or any other point of contact with your customer.

One reason why ESP's achieve higher deliverable rates because their client's lists are permissions based. Fewer Spam reports means higher deliverability. The following is not permissions based:

  • Purchased email lists from ANY source
  • Distribution lists - one email address distributed to more than one individual when permission has not directly been given by all individuals.
  • Non-specific or "role" email addresses unless you know the recipient and permission is clear. For example - sales@, info@, webmaster@ addresses.
  • Captured email addresses obtained by surfing the Internet or "scraping" web pages.

Top 15 ways to build your list

As you build your list, it is imperative that you inform your customer or prospect as to what they will receive and how often they will be contacted when they join your list. Here are some of the best ways to build a qualified permissions based email list.

TIP! Collect where you connect.

  1. Include a sign-up form on each page of your site.
  2. Obtain permission and capture email addresses over the phone, in every call.
  3. Include a message and opt in link in your email signature line. (do this one today!)
  4. Display email marketing opportunities on all direct mail and print ads.
  5. Include information and a link to your newsletter in press releases.
  6. Display a sign-up form at your cash register; an approach used by restaurants and retailers to advertise weekday discounts, catering services etc. (over 60% of customers will fill these out!)
  7. Distribute sign-up forms at public speaking engagements and seminars and promote your newsletter in presentations and handouts.
  8. Place "Send to a Friend" links on your site pages with text that states the features and benefits of joining.
  9. Promote sign-ups in confirmation/transaction emails. Add messages and opt-in links to all pages.
  10. Promote benefits on the main sign-up page. Highlight the subscription value with sample emails, testimonials and strong call to action.
  11. Add opt-In links on demo requests, white papers, registration forms and all other site forms.
  12. Offer opt-In incentives like discounts, new product sneak peeks, specials, white papers, etc.
  13. Send post cards to customers encouraging them to subscribe with sign-up offers and URL.
  14. Add sign-up message and URL to invoices.
  15. Promote your newsletter/promotional emails in industry directories and sites.

Keep this effort top of mind and use every point of contact with customers and prospects as an opportunity to obtain their permission.

TIP! keep your list current.

Did you know 1 in 3 email addresses change every year?

Don't use an old list: Industry insiders say that lists more than three years old are practically useless. Keep your list fresh and send out periodic emails asking folks to update their information.

TIP! Give your customers a reason to join your list.

Provide valuable benefits: Show potential subscribers the valuable benefits they'll receive.

Convey trust: Clearly state your privacy/email policies. Also, include an easy unsubscribe link in all of your emails. Statistics prove that this actually helps your list retention.

Be consistent: Follow through and send your emails on a regular basis, as promised.

More about email marketing, the tool we love to use (you are looking at it!) and a free demo is available at

Interested in attending a FREE email marketing seminar in Tucson? Enroll now for the September 25th, "Power of Email Marketing" seminar which includes best practices. If you would like to attend this free seminar, please register now as seating is limited.

Best wishes everyone! Until October! MO

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