Power to the Subscribers: Permission Email, More Relevant than Ever, Turns 25

Subscription Confirmation Began in LISTSERV, Remains Essential Tool for Consent

Permission Email

Bethesda, MD (March 15, 2018) – Email may be the top online activity and sales channel, but all email is not created equal. Spam and other unwanted messages continue to create clutter for the estimated 3.7 billion email users worldwide*. It's essential for senders to earn and maintain subscribers' trust through recipient-controlled permission and deliver only the email subscribers have confirmed they want to receive. March 15th marks 25 years of permission email, a foundational tool for today's digital communication.

"Successful mass communication is ethical. It comes from a sender-subscriber relationship based on strong prior consent. Eric Thomas, L-Soft's CEO, invented automated subscription confirmation to prevent unreliable email addresses from being added to an email list. This also protects the list and its subscribers from fraudulent subscriptions and puts permission in the hands of the recipient, where it belongs," said Outi Tuomaala, L-Soft's EVP.

Thomas invented LISTSERV, the original email list manager, in 1986 and added the subscription confirmation feature, also known as double opt-in, to the version released on March 15th, 1993. This also strengthened recipient consent and unintentionally launched permission email as we know it today.

"Virtually no one talked about permission marketing in 1993. Seth Godin first popularized the term in 1999. But I'm pleased that email permission is getting the attention it deserves. It's a big focus for digital marketers and communicators today because, for example, the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation) is taking effect May 25th and requires prior consent to protect recipients," Tuomaala added.

Compliance with consent, authentication and data privacy requirements are now in major focus on the to-do list of digital marketers and communicators, but one thing's clear: Confirmed permission from recipients is fundamental.

L-Soft offers a few important tips for people who manage email lists responsibly, using best practices.

Ensure your subscribers truly want to be on your email list by being:

  • Explicit: Ask your subscribers to actively give their consent, and don't do the work for them
  • Specific: State the purpose of the email list clearly, and deliver what you promise
  • Confirmed: Ensure your subscribers reconfirm that they initiated the subscription request to receive your messages in the future (confirmed opt-in / double opt-in)

See The Code of Email Marketing video for more tips:

*Source: The Radicati Group, Inc., February 2017

About L-Soft

L-Soft is the exclusive provider of LISTSERV® email list technology and related services for global digital communications. Organizations across all sectors rely on L-Soft's permission email solutions to manage email newsletters, announcement lists, discussion groups and email communities. Invented by L-Soft Founder and CEO Eric Thomas in 1986, LISTSERV pioneered automated email list management and remains the de facto industry standard. In 2018, L-Soft celebrates the 25th anniversary of double opt-in subscription confirmation, which debuted in LISTSERV.

L-Soft Press Contact

Susan Brown Faghani
1-301-731-0440, Ext 4

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