How do I opt-in my old customer or member list?

It is a requirement in MailBlue that all contacts are opt-in contacts. This means they have signed up for the email list and expect to receive emails from you. If you have compiled a list but it is not an opt-in list, or it is a list that you have not emailed for more than a year, an opt-in confirmation must be sent to this list before adding these contacts to your MailBlue account.

If you have a list of contacts that are not opt-in contacts, we recommend deleting the list and starting over. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to retroactively subscribe contacts to a list and there are risks involved. You can try this, but you will likely annoy (or possibly lose) some of your customers and you will probably only retain a small portion of the list during the process, especially if the list is old. A new message will likely also result in more than normal spam complaints. While this may be frustrating for many email marketers to hear, it is unfortunately a realistic outcome. For this reason, it is best to ensure you use the correct opt-in practices when compiling a list.

If you still want to try to add a compiled list, you need to follow the steps below. This is to ensure that the contacts have signed up before adding them to the account.

How does the opt-in process work?

To sign up for an existing list, you must send each contact an email requesting them to confirm their subscription to the email list. This initial email cannot be sent via MailBlue. You can choose to send individual emails from your own email account, or you can choose to use another application (such as a downloaded application hosted on your own server) or use another service to send this initial email. To protect our sending reputation and reduce complaints of abuse, this initial communication cannot be sent via MailBlue.

Whichever way you send this initial email, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • This initial email should inform customers that you plan to start an email newsletter/campaign soon and remind them how you obtained their email address previously. You should also include a link to the online sign-up form. Only the contacts who click the link and fill out the form will be considered opt-in.
  • You may want to offer an incentive to encourage subscription, such as a discount code for all contacts who sign up for the mailing list. However, be careful that this initial email does not give the impression of being an advertisement or unsolicited marketing email, as this can be unpleasant and further deter your customers. (Avoid, for example, commonly used terms like 'Free!' or '50% off!' in the email subject or such terms in the email content.)
  • Do not simply send an email letting your customers know they are already subscribed to the email list and can unsubscribe if they do not want to receive the emails. This is not a valid way to sign up contacts. It is not safe to assume that a contact who has not clicked 'unsubscribe' in the original email is actually signed up.
  • Do not send contacts in this list more than one email about the opt-in. Only the contacts who have followed the list and signed up via the registration form on the list may be contacted again in the future. The rest of the list should be discarded.

It may be that this opt-in process significantly reduces the size of the list - that is to be expected - but it is necessary, and you will find that it is worth it. The contacts that remain with you are people who are truly interested in the product or service and are likely to have a positive interaction with the email campaigns in the future. Delivery rates remain high, bounce and abuse rates remain low, and email marketing campaigns will generally be more effective.

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