Email Marketing Strategy: How Can I Get Permission To Send To A List I Got From My Professional Association

I got a question about email strategy, and I get this question quite frequently so I thought I’d write a post on this.

How do I get permission to send to a list I’ve purchased or I was given by a trade show, event I’ve sponsored or a professional organization?

This applies to any list that didn’t opt-in with you individually.

This information is for the US. Please check the laws in your country.

Email Marketing Dilemma

Dear Amy,

I am a member of the Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society (MDSHS). We are a non-profit group committed to acquiring and displaying any artifacts related to Land Surveying and mapping. It is an all-volunteer group and no employees. Over time, we have lost membership and we are looking for the best way to reach out to fellow surveyors.

The main reason I inquired about Mailchimp was to find an e-mail system that will handle mass numbers of e-mails at one or two mailings. I have estimated there are 5 to 7 thousand surveyor related names to contact. We have no newsletters or any product to advertise / promote at this time.

I have a large e-mail listing of land surveyors, acquired from various sources. That is a hurdle because I did not get permission from 98% of the people on my list. Is it legal to send out an invitation without approval to receive the invitation for membership / involvement?

Any recommendations?

Email Marketing Strategy to Eliminate Being Marked as SPAM

Hi there,

Thanks so much for your question.

By law, in the US, you can send 1 email unsolicited within the CANN SPAM laws. I have 2 different solutions to this issue, and you can pick the solution that works best for you.

  1. Add people to a whole new list

    I would suggest you send to your list and ask them to subscribe to your list.

    To do this, you’ll need to create a second list in Mailchimp that people can sign up to. Effectively you’ll be moving people from one list to the other.

    Send the same email several times to the people that didn’t open the email the first time. That way you’ll get the most subscriptions.

    This will give you a very responsive and engaged list.

    After a month delete the original list from Mailchimp, so you don’t pay for the same email addresses twice.

  2. Remove people from your list

    Send your email with a large red unsubscribe button or text at the top of the email.

    You’ll keep everyone on the list that doesn’t unsubscribe.

    Send the same email several times to the people that didn’t open the email the first time. This way you’ll get the most active subscribers because they haven’t opted out.

    This list will not be as responsive or engaged.

In your case, I would suggest moving people from one list to another. You have very specific information for this list, so it’s important to make sure these people engage with your emails.

I hope this helps. Let me know what questions you have.

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