4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 17, 2013 2:05 PM by Josh Hill

    Best practice for subscribing leads to a newsletter or blog?

      Is it appropriate, best practice to auto subscribe leads to your company blog then give them the option to unsubscribe or is it better to introduce the blog in an offer email and let them subscribe?  
        • Re: Best practice for subscribing leads to a newsletter or blog?
          Josh Hill
          The legal way to do this is to introduce the blog in an offer and let them subscribe, assuming that they are opted in in the first place.

          The CTA should be on the blog too.

          Now it's possible that if you had a list with just a "general opt in" like 

          Opt In = T/F

          and no other subscription choices, then those who opted in are expecting something from you. Whether it's your blog or another promo doesn't matter. Still, I prefer to invite them to your exclusive blog email list. Those who sign up will be more engaged.

          Successful marketers have found that Subscription Management is far superiod. Give people several options for communications:

          Never push your leads into content they haven't requested, otherwise their only choice is to Unsubscribe. Instead, subscription management offers choices and levels, so they rarely totally unsubscribe.
          • Re: Best practice for subscribing leads to a newsletter or blog?
            Thanks Josh.  I agree with you, but I'm being pushed by my manager and our VP of marketing that said it is "best practice" to subscribe them and let them unsubscribe on their own.  I'm currently looking for more support on this subject before revisiting with my manager and VP.  If you have any documents supporting this, I'd appreciate it.  Also, is it illegal to subscribe them if they have not Opted in?  I thought it was only illegal if they had
            opted out.  
            • Re: Best practice for subscribing leads to a newsletter or blog?
              Michelle Tiziani
              @Josh, I like how you combined superior and period.  I'm going to borrow it.  "Superiod".  @Angie, on our website, one of our simple opt-in forms says that when they register, they are automatically opted in to receive our Video, podcast and blog content, which I'm not a fan of.  The interesting thing is that I tested a simple opt-in form for our blog (marketo form) against the register form, and the form I created for the blog outperformed the register form.  My point is that it's clear what they are opting-in to, and they know what they are getting with the blog form.  With that result, I'm requesting an enhancement to the registration form which is not a marketo form. 

              Also, I've also seen some complaints that have come from our customers who were automatically opted in to something they didn't opt-in.  An example was when they attended an event, they were automatically signed up to a trial subscription to a publication.  ugh. 
              • Re: Best practice for subscribing leads to a newsletter or blog?
                Josh Hill
                Thanks Michelle! I didn't know I was creating a new word.

                Michelle makes a good point that you must tell people what they are agreeing to up front. You will get far more unsubs and complaints if you just start emailing people who never requested it. I've been there too with management insisting it's ok.

                It's not.

                My understanding of the laws in US, Canada, and EU (and I'm NOT a lawyer) is the following:
                •           You can email any customer in regard to their account, order, or if they made a request that implies a repsonse (like registering for a webinar).
                •           Your forms MUST be "opt in" and cannot "default check the box". That's explicitly wrong in Canada and EU now. I hate that anyway.
                •           If someone did not opt in, do not send them an email.
                •           If they opted in thinking they were going to receive an invitation to webinars only, then don't send them blog posts.
                •           You can send your list a one time email to opt in to stuff (if your data is sketchy), but do not do it again.
                •           You must have an easy unsubscribe link. Subs mgmt is ok, but many marketers offer both now on the email footer.
                •           Yes, it is ILLEGAL to subscribe someone to anything that they have to explicitly requested. I think the fine (if they report you to FTC), is $20,000 per incident.
                •           Always do the thing you would want someone to do to you. If I think this was annoying on someone's site, I do not do that to my folks.
                If you look for privacy laws and subscription management on Community, you'll find more. Marketo did a whole thing about EU privacy and cookies. You can look up CANSPAM and Email Deliverability to find out the laws themselves.