Consent for Email Marketing

Consent for Email Marketing

Consent to email

Today, I want to talk a bit about clear opt-in for email marketing. I’ve seen situations many times now in my email marketing career, where opt-in or email consent wasn’t clear. I’m going to talk about opt-in best practices, and what it can mean for your company if you don’t follow them.


What is consent to email? 

If a user comes to your site and fills out a form that says “Yes! I’d like to receive email updates from [COMPANY NAME]” — this is clear consent, especially if the user goes on to click a link to confirm their opt-in.

Any form that makes it absolutely clear that a user will receive emails from you, warrants consent to email (For CAN-Spam laws). Best practices (and CASL) also require that you have a checkbox to confirm that the user wants to receive emails.


What is not consent to email? 

If a user emails your company a question, that does allow you to reply to their question, that does not give you permission to add that lead to your opt-in list. If a lead requests to be added to one list, that does not mean they have opted in to EVERY list or EVERY website your company owns (Even if this is included in your privacy policy or TOS, this goes against best practices).

So what’s the worst that can happen if you’re emailing leads you don’t have consent to email? Spam complaints, unsubscribes, damage to your online reputation – and legal action. Email marketing is regulated by real laws, that have real consequences.


If a lead wants to receive emails from you, they will opt in, even if there’s a check box – even if there’s a confirmation link. Don’t scrape websites for email addresses, don’t purchase lists, and please don’t opt-in people that don’t want emails from you, it gives all email marketers a bad name.

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