E-Mail Marketing: Automation  and Staying Legal

Incorporate email marketing automation. Automation is putting your list segmentation to use and can help in staying legal.

Once you’ve created specific subgroups, you can send automated emails that are highly targeted. There are a couple of ways to do this.


An autoresponder, also known as a drip campaign, is a series of emails that is sent out automatically once triggered by a certain action. For instance, when someone downloads your eBook.

You’ll use the same guidelines for writing your emails that we discussed previously to ensure that your readers find your emails useful and interesting. You should decide how far apart you’d like your emails to be sent, say every few days or weeks, or even months.

The great thing about autoresponders is that you can set it and forget it. Every user that is part of your autoresponder will receive each email that you’ve added to the series.


Workflows take autoresponders a step further. Think of Workflows like a flow tree with yes/no branches that will execute actions based on the criteria that you set.

Workflows have two key components:

The enrolment criteria, or the action that would qualify a user for the workflow.

The goal, or the action that would take a user out of the workflow.

Workflow tools are smart enough to know if a user opened an email or downloaded an offer, and it will set off a series of actions based on that behavior. That means, it can send an email series, or even change a prospect’s lifecycle stage based on what a user does.

For instance, if a new subscriber receives a welcome email and the subsequent email is set up to send them an offer that they already found and downloaded on your site, the workflow tool will know and adapt. In an autoresponder, a user receives a specific set of emails at specific time intervals no matter what action they take.

Why is this important? Sending the right email at the wrong time is detrimental to your bottom line.

6. Use email marketing templates.

Email marketing templates are another great resource to help you with your email marketing.

Unless you’re a designer and developer on top of being a skilled marketer, templates will save you a ton of time — they take the design, coding, and UX-definition work out of crafting your emails.

Just one caveat: when making your selection, choose email templates that are proven to be effective.

The highest-quality templates come from the most reputable ESPs that have tested them against thousands of alternatives. So, stick with the professionals.

And speaking of things like quality work and great reputation, there are some email regulations to be aware of when crafting emails and developing your marketing strategy.

Email Regulations

Email regulations are consistent with consumers’ desires to know how and why their information is being used. If there’s anything we care about, it’s complying with what our customers—or potential customers—want.

1. Staying Legal CAN-SPAM Compliance

Technically, CAN-SPAM is an acronym for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (because sometimes the two go together).

In practice, it’s a way to protect your subscribers’ right to only receive emails that they’ve requested.

The law was passed in 2003 and applies to any commercial emails used for business purposes.

Here are the ways to ensure that your emails are CAN-SPAM compliant:

Include your company name and address in every email.

Place visible unsubscribe links within your emails.

Use real email addresses in the “From” and “Reply to” fields.

Write subject lines that indicate the contents of the email.

Please note: This is not to be confused for legal advice. See the FTC’s site for more specific legal information regarding CAN-SPAM laws.

2. Staying Legal GDPR Compliance

While some may view these newly implemented email regulations as burdensome and unnecessary, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) moves us closer to building long-lasting and trusting relationships with our customers.

GDPR is about giving your customers the right to choose. They choose your emails. They choose to hear from you. They choose your products. And that is exactly what inbound marketing is about.

Something important to note about GDPR is that it only applies to businesses that operate in the European Union and businesses that market to EU citizens. Noncompliance will result in significant fees that aren’t worth the risk, so make sure to read the GDPR guidelines entirely.

Here’s an overview of how you can comply with GDPR laws:

Use clear language when requesting consent to store personal information.

Only collect contact data that is necessary for and relevant to your business.

Store contact data in a secure manner and only use it for the agreed-upon purpose.

Retain data for justifiable business purposes only.

Delete contact data on request.

Make it easy for contacts to unsubscribe from your list or update their preferences.

Comply promptly to a contact’s request for access to their data.

Keep company records to prove GDPR compliance.

These regulations will be taken seriously (as they should), so it’s a good idea to create a GDPR strategy for your business before you start sending out emails.

For links to the appropriate site for both Can Spam and GDPR please see the Useful Links section below.

3. Avoid Spam Filters

You spend time creating the perfect email and adhering to regulations, so the last thing you want is to end up in a spam folder.

You’ll want to avoid the spam folder because:

It hurts your deliverability rates across the board.

Your contacts will likely miss all your emails.

You won’t be able to accurately measure your email marketing effectiveness.

Your analytics will be skewed.

You can avoid being deduced to spam by:

Getting whitelisted.

A whitelist is the opposite of a blacklist, meaning it’s a list of approved senders that are allowed to reach the subscriber’s inbox. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have your new subscriber add your email address to their address book. Include directions on how to do this in your welcome email.

Minding your copy.

Avoid using all caps and multiple exclamation points, as well as spam trigger words, like “opt-in”, “click below”, and “order”, that are easily detected and marked down by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Using a reliable email service provider.

Your email service provider’s reputation affects your deliverability, so stick to established, well-known companies.

Implementing a double opt-in.

Once someone opts into your email list, send an email asking them to confirm. This ensures that your new subscriber is genuinely interested in your emails and will likely be more engaged.

And last but certainly not least, you need to consistently measure the success of your email marketing efforts. There are several options you can choose from when it comes to your business’s email marketing analytics.

Email Marketing Analysis

By diving into your email marketing analytics, you’ll be able to make better decisions that are sure to positively impact your business’s bottom line, resonate with your subscribers, readers, and customers, and justify your work to the rest of your company.

Here are the best ways to analyse the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

1. A/B test your marketing emails.

Not all email lists are created equal. Some audiences prefer personalization and others will think it’s spammy. Some audiences will like bright, eye-catching CTA buttons, and others will prefer a more subtle call-to-action.

You’ll never know what type of people make up your email list until you test the variables. That’s where A/B testing comes in handy.

Surprisingly, not many brands leverage it. A 2021 Litmus study found that 44% of marketers rarely A/B or multivariate test their emails. Only 19% do it often or always.

A/B testing, or split testing, is a way to see what type of email performs best with your audience by analysing the results of email A against email B,

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