How to Migrate Social Media Contacts Over to an Opt-In Email List (legally)

Social media email list New Initiatives Marketing

Can you relate? A question we are frequently asked is, ‘What are your recommended processes for migrating social media contacts over to an opt-in database?’

We all have significant numbers of social media contacts that we would love to add to our email distribution lists. So how do we do that?

First off, we highly recommend checking the laws, including any Anti-Spam laws, in your country of residence. In Canada, where we are based, we have the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which informs us what we can and cannot do when contacting someone via email for business promotion purposes.

From a Canadian point of view, we cannot take that list of email addresses, add them to our distribution list, start sending them emails and leave it to them to opt-out of receiving future emails.

What we have to do is have the individual opt-in to receive emails.

Recently, we were running a series of highly successful Facebook contests for a client that resulted in a significant amount of highly engaged contestants. These contestants were exactly the type of people we wanted on their email distribution list. So how did we migrate them from contestant to engaged potential client, with their consent?

Our strategy was to email the potential client once, using a plain text email and state why we were contacting them. We explained, “You recently entered our contest for (enter name of the company and contest name here) and in addition to the contest, we also have a monthly email newsletter. Click here to opt into the newsletter and we would be happy to add you to our list”.

We received a very positive reaction using this strategy with over three-quarters of a four-figure list opting in. We were able to adhere to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation and increase the size of our email distribution list using a consent-based approach.



Jen Kelly New Initiatives Marketing Inc.Jen Kelly is a marketing consultant in Toronto and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing Inc. (NIM) serving growing businesses in Canada and the USA. NIM is the team to call for marketing execution excellence. For companies that don’t have a marketing department, we become your marketing department. For companies that have an existing marketing team and are challenged adding capacity and skills to their team due to a head-count freeze, we act as your marketing team’s right-hand, supporting the skills needed on a monthly basis. Contact us today for a conversation about your company’s marketing needs. 

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