Suffering from Permission-Email CASL Anxiety? Your Prospecting May Be DOA Already
Sometimes I get questions that beg for a blog post response because so many people want the same answer.
This one, from a Canadian marketer on my list who asked me how to collect permission-based emails that complied with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) was my inspiration for today’s post. He asked me to give a webinar on “emailing in a time of CASL” and I said, “no one will come.”
Here’s his request and my answer.
“Lori, thanks for your email, downloads and webinars.
“I bought my CRM for my consulting practice with the goal of using it for direct mail. As of this summer, e-mail marketing is quite restricted in Canada, and the CASL requires that you have explicit consent from prospects before emailing them. The fines are quite stiff–up to $10 million per instance!
“You covered how you have someone telephoning and getting an email address, but proving consent in case someone complains is another matter. People still send unsolicited email, but eventually the government will make an example out of someone, and I sure don’t want it to be me.
“I’m slowly building my database, using direct mail for prospecting and email for nurturing relationships with past clients and prospects who have given their consent.
“According to your “Should You Use Drip Marketing” test (it was excellent, thank you!), I’m kind of a borderline case. I clearly have some work to do before starting drip marketing.
“I think what you have is of great value, and I’ve learnt a lot from you already, so I hesitate to ask, but have you considered a webinar that addresses this issue: How to prepare for drip marketing in an age where unsolicited email is so restricted? Is this a common situation?
Here is my response.
I have considered giving a webinar on how to get permission-based emails–but no one would come.
It’s a topic I put in the “eat your vegetables” category, ie., the things marketers should do, but don’t want to.
Your strategy is spot on for nurturing existing relationships. (According to the DMA, response rates for direct mail to existing customers averages 3.40%, compared with 0.12% for email.) But it’s too slow and too expensive to help you build your list with new prospects, in my opinion. And you’ll still have to get permission to email.
I cut my baby teeth on direct mail (in the Paleozoic era, I was a recipient of the Direct Marketer of the Year Award), so I’m a strong believer in the power of direct response marketing.
But direct mail is an “outbound marketing” tactic. Anytime you choose your prospects to push out your marketing message, getting their attention is hard to impossible. (Let’s be honest. The email annoyance factor, alone, is part of the reason CASL was approved in the first place.)
On the other hand, a prospect who finds you via an online search, referral, social media reference or other “inbound marketing” source closes 14.6% of the time vs. 1.7% for an outbound marketing lead source (according to Hubspot, who just filed a $100 million IPO).
Essentially in todya’s marketplace, the good news is you can be on a level playing field with companies 100X your size. But the bad news is you must be brand building all the time so when a prospect wakes up one morning and says, “OMG, I can’t live one more day without X.” you appear everywhere to them. (This is why remarketing on Google and Facebook is so brilliant.)
To appear everywhere, you must already be doing things like public speaking, webinars, blogging, SEO, AdWords, targeted Facebook advertising, and other similar lead generating strategies. There is no “one size fits all,” either. For example, social media may not be where your customers hang out (especially if you sell to businesses.)
First you must study where your customers get their buying information. Once you show up there, getting permission-based email is a no-brainer. Prospects “find you.” They come predisposed with curiosity and an appetitie to devour everything you’ve got. They’re ready to hear what you have to say. Giving you their email is a small price for them to pay.
If you struggle with how to put all the puzzle pieces together that result in a sustainable lead generation formula for your company, schedule a free 10-minute brainstorm and we’ll explore it together.