While a given campaign typically will be sent to a single list (with possible variations of the message for different segments thereof), it may span—not spam—multiple lists. The list or lists to be targeted will be determined when planning the campaign.
GS Marketing Group works with a preferred email service provider, MailChimp, in no small part for the way they handle email lists. However, we will instead work with Constant Contact if you have an account with them. If you have no account and no email marketing list, we will offer to help you set up an account with MailChimp.
We login to MailChimp via individual user accounts, with our own usernames and passwords. To facilitate working with your campaigns and list(s), we will ask you to grant members of our staff access to your company/organization account. Not sure how to do that? Check out this MailChimp article or ask us for help.
Do not share your own account login credentials with us. Consider this a general rule of thumb for any of your online service accounts, whether with Google, Facebook, etc.
In most cases, we expect to work with a list of subscribers (also known as opt-in). These contacts have consented to receive email marketing from you, either by signing up via your website or by other acceptable means. In special cases, we may work with a list of your customers (see restrictions and requirements below). Alternatively, you may work with an association administrator or an event coordinator who will send your message to their list on your behalf.
We encourage use of segmentation on each email list. For example, by identifying subscriber interests, source (e.g., landing page vs. general inquiry form) and/or other characteristics, we can help focus your communications. And focus has proven to lift open and click-through rates. Your company newsletter may go to the general audience . An announcement about your exhibit at an upcoming trade show could be directed to leads who signed up at a prior event, plus others who clicked a link in a prior campaign that led to information about your presence at a show. We can help define and create those subscriber segments, to reach people with the information they want most from you.
CAN-SPAM (US), CASL (Canada), GDPR (EU) and other regulations stipulate what is considered spam and what penalties are assessed those who send it. Furthermore, each email service provider sets forth terms of service, which include what they will allow on their platform. One reason we limit which email service providers we use is to help stay up to date on those terms.
Opt-in lists are not to be commingled (merged) with one another. Subscribers who have granted you permission to email them for one purpose may not have granted you permission to email them for other purposes.
No opt-in list is to be merged with another list from a different source. Nor shall individual contacts be added to an opt-in list from another source—with the possible exception of "seed" contacts who are part of your company/organization. (A best practice for that exception would be for those contacts to subscribe via your website.) Again, the integrity of each list of subscribers is not to be compromised.
If you supply a list of customers for the purpose of sending commercial email messages to them, we will require you to provide a statement of certification that the contacts are indeed customers who have either purchased from or contracted with you within the preceding 24 months. We will retain the statement together with the list, for our records, in the event we are required to produce evidence of the source.
If you receive a list from an event coordinator or other third party, we reserve the right to refuse to use it, as provided, for an email campaign. Regardless of assurances of permission from the third party, email service providers such as MailChimp and Constant Contact do not permit emailing to third-party lists, given the risk to their own sender reputation—let alone yours or ours. Instead, we may work with the third party so they may send a campaign on your behalf, with content we supply. Or we may give you a report of how many contacts on their list are among your opt-in subscribers, so you may determine if you wish to send a targeted campaign to that segment of your existing opt-in list.
Beware vendors who offer you email lists for purchase or rent—often in an unsolicited commercial email (the technical name for spam). We do work with data providers who maintain their own opt-in lists for prospecting purposes. Through their service, you do not obtain the list, but access to the list. We design and build the message/campaign; they send to their list. We also design and build landing pages to complement the email campaign, and any leads you collect on a landing page become customers and/or subscribers on your own opt-in list.