How to (Legally) Use Dubsado for Email

(And What to Avoid Doing So You Don’t Break the Law)

Authors: Cait Potter & Kay Allen Carr, KAC Marketing

One of the most common questions I see popping up in the Dubsado Community on Facebook over and over is about how Dubsado can be used to help with email marketing, and I think there is a TON of confusion around this. You know Dubsado can help you send emails, but you have questions… how can you design your emails? When should you send those emails? Can you send an email to all of your contacts via Dubsado? Let’s get into ALLLLLL of it, right here, right now. Here’s how to use Dubsado for email. 

Dubsado’s Email Capabilities

Dubsado’s email features are designed to help you manage your client interactions and automate as many of them as possible.

You can send customized emails based on specific events or client actions, ensuring that each interaction feels personal (NOT like a robot). 

With communication like this- your clients feel taken care of adn clear on why an investment with you was a great idea- and it keeps them coming back and screaming your name from the rooftops for amazing referrals. 

You can use Dubsado’s email capabilities for:

  • Following up with leads 
  • Scheduling calls 
  • Onboarding new clients 
  • Collecting information needed for a project 
  • Invoicing and following up on invoices 
  • Offboarding clients when a project ends 

Basically, if it has to do with a lead that has contacted you or a client that has signed with you, Dubsado is the tool to use for those emails! 

BUT, Dubsado isn’t the right tool for all things email. You CANNOT use Dubsado’s email capabilities for:

  • Cold outreach
  • Sales blasts
  • Newsletters
  • Sending out mass client communication

We’re going to get into WHY here in just a second, but basically, it’s important for you to know that if you want to email multiple people at the same time- Dubsado isn’t the right tool. 

What if I want to send an email to all current clients?

Maybe you want all of your clients to fill out a questionnaire, or maybe you’ve got a new special that you want to tell them about and give them the chance to book. These are valid reasons, but you still CANNOT send a mass email via Dubsado.

It’s important to understand when a “mass” email should actually be a WORKFLOW email. Here’s a list of common examples of communications that you need to add in to your workflows:

  • Maybe you follow up with all leads at 8am each morning. While it’s great you have a system that works for you (or maybe you don’t and this is something you want to get better at)- the solution is to decide what your standard follow up schedule is and then AUTOMATE it. This is not something where you should be emailing a bunch of people at the same time, the follow up schedule should be specific to them and when they inquired.
  • Sign ups from marketing events – rather than taking down names and information on a piece of paper or in a spreadsheet and then emailing everyone manually later (and en masse), I highly recommend having these leads fill out a Dubsado form instead and having a workflow all set up to thank them for signing up and to send them the information or next steps promised.
  • Email a group of people the same form > let’s say you booked a day of mini sessions and want to send everyone prep information at the same time: WRONG. You should set it up in your workflows that each person will be emailed 2 days after they book (or whatever timeline works for you). That way you don’t have to worry about sending that email at all – it’s all set up and automated from the get-go. 
  • If you need to notify current clients of policy changes or other important mass info, then this is probably not a workflow email, but it’s also not a marketing email. This is something where it may be appropriate to BCC everyone from your main email provider.

Can Dubsado emails be pretty?

In short, NO. And that’s OKAY. That’s not the POINT of Dubsado. While pretty emails are nice to look at, it’s very clear that they are not personal.The point of a Dubsado email is to make it seem like you personally typed each individual email to your client, so the fact that it’s not “pretty” is actually a GOOD thing. 

Rather than stressing about whether these emails look pretty, I would focus on ensuring that they are clear on next steps for the client and are answering any and all questions they may have before they even have a chance to ask. 

You can always make a pretty email signature with your logo and headshot in there to reasonably brand the experience. I’ve even got a freebie for this in the System Starter Kit! Sign up here

Sending Marketing Emails to Your Email List

When it comes time to send emails to your full email list, you will want to use an email marketing tool designed specifically for that. 

Dubsado is NOT that tool. 

Dubsado is for sending personalized emails to one person or a team of people. It’s replacing a 1:1 email you would have to send manually if you didn’t have Dubsado. 

If you want to send a newsletter and sales email to your email database you’ll want to use a tool like ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Flodesk or Drip. These platforms are designed to help you send “mass” marketing emails that don’t require a specific response based on where someone is within your lead cycle or project timeline. 

The LEGAL Difference Between Transactional/Relationship Emails & Commercial Emails 

When it comes to sending emails through Dubsado you likely won’t need to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act because you’re not sending mass emails marketing or advertising your service(s). 

Each email sent through Dubsado is intended with one person or a specific team of people; the FTC considers these transactional or relationship-based emails and not commercial emails.

A transactional or relationship based email facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an on-going transaction. 

When you’re sending newsletters or sales emails with the purpose of promoting a product or service you are sending commercial email and you DO need to adhere to the CAN-SPAM Act. 

Not adhering to CAN-SPAM can lead to heavy fines of up to $51,000+ for each email in violation. 

Here’s how to stay compliant:

  • Your “From”, “To,” and “Reply-to” information must be accurate
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Make sure it’s clear that your message is an advertisement
  • Include a valid physical postal address in the email (usually in the footer)
  • Tell recipients how to opt-out of future marketing emails and make it easy to do
  • Honor all opt-out requests within 10 business days
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf – the law makes it clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your responsibility to comply with the law 

Other countries have their own email regulations – for example, the EU requires compliance with GDPR which states:

  • You must adopt appropriate technical measures to secure the data you collect (e.g. you use an end-to-end encrypted email service)
  • Consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous which means you have to provide a full explanation on how you plan to use someone’s email data
  • Requests for consent must be clearly distinguishable from other matters and in “clear and plain language”
  • Email recipients can withdraw their consent whenever they want and you must honor this decision and allow them to opt-out
  • Children under 13 can only give consent with permission from a parent 

It is recommended that you research any email marketing platform you choose and make sure they have measures in place to help protect you. 

For example, most of the popular email platforms (ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, FloDesk, etc) offer data encryption to help you comply with GDPR and most platforms will not allow you to send an email that doesn’t have an address, an unsubscribe link, etc. to help you comply with CAN-SPAM. 

Still, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make sure you comply with the laws that govern the areas in which you will send marketing emails. 

Google and Yahoo’s 2024 Requirements 

While government entities have rules and regulations about what you can do and not do with email, Google and Yahoo also have their own requirements.

The new requirements went into affect in February 2024 for bulk email senders (those emailing 5,000 or more messages per day). These requirements are designed to help reduce phishing attacks and spam. 

Even if you do not send 5,000 or more emails per day, it still makes sense to take the steps to bring your brand into compliance with the guidelines because it’s likely these rules will at some point be required by all brands. 

Here are the new requirements:

  • Setup email authentication using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
  • Have a single-click unsubscribe option
  • Spam complaint limit must stay under 0.3% for Google; the threshold for Yahoo is not known but we can assume it’s the same or similar

Email authentication is something that must be done inside of your domain registrar and not within your email software provider’s account. 

However, depending on the email platform you’re using, the information you input into your domain registrar will be different. 

All of the major email platforms have released step-by-step how-to guides:

If you don’t see your provider in this list you can try to google “[software name] verify domain]” so, for example “mailchimp verify domain” and their help article should come up. Otherwise, you can reach out to the help desk for your software provider. 

If you don’t yet have an email software provider keep reading because we’ll help you pick one! 

How to Select Your Email Marketing Provider

When it comes to selecting email marketing software you’ll want to take two things into consideration: the type of offer you have and your experience level with email automation. 

  • Flodesk (Great for Beginners): If you are just starting your business, have a small email list (under 1,000 people), and just want to send pretty newsletters using customizable templates and perhaps put together a couple of easy email automations (e.g. someone fills in a form to receive a freebie) this is a good, budget email platform.

    It does not offer as robust of an analytics dashboard as other email platforms in its price range. This is not so important when your email list is small; however, most business owners choose to move to ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign once their list grows.

    These platforms are slightly more technical to use. Depending on your comfort level you might choose to start with Flodesk and then move to a different platform once you outsource email marketing. It’s better to get started building your email list and change platforms later, than it is to put it off until you can afford to outsource your email marketing.
  • ConvertKit (Great for Coaches/Courses/Service Providers): ConvertKit is an excellent email platform, and the one I (Kay) would recommend to most business owners who sell courses, coaching, and other digital products because of its native integrations to learning platforms like Teachable, Kajabi, and Podia.

    It also comes with easy-to-customize templates. The automation portion of this platform will have a learning curve if you are not familiar with email automation; however, it’s not difficult to learn using their tutorial videos.

    ActiveCampaign is a direct competitor to ConvertKit, but at this time I cannot recommend it because of platform instability.
  • Drip (Great for Digital Shops): This is the one Cait uses! Drip is an amazing, inexpensive tool for those of you who have digital shops. It creates beautiful emails, runs fast and has a modern UI experience, integrates directly with your job, and provides you with allll kinds of analytics and reporting. Check it out here!
  • Klaviyo (Great for eCommerce): If you sell physical products in WooCommerce or Shopify there is no doubt that Klaviyo is the gold standard of email platforms for ecommerce. It integrates natively with Woo and Shopify, and offers the most robust level of list segmentation and analytics of all the email marketing platforms, specifically when it comes to ecommerce sales.

    It also has SMS integrated so you don’t need a separate SMS platform, and can create automated flows that include both email and SMS directly in Klaviyo. 

How to Connect Dubsado & Your Email Provider

Now just because Dubsado is not an email marketing tool, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still use it to help fill your email list (UNDER VERY SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES!)

If you’re collecting contacts via Dubsado forms from prospects/clients in the US you can automatically add them to your email marketing tool as long as you have an unsubscribe option in every email sent from that platform to the recipients. 

If you are collecting contacts in Europe there needs to be a check-box that allows the recipient to opt-in for marketing emails if they so choose. If they do not check that box, then you should not automatically add them to your email marketing software or you will be violating the rules of GDPR. 

Many other countries have their own anti-spam and email marketing laws in place. You can look up the rules for each, but if you believe you will have inquiries coming from outside of the US, it makes sense just to include an opt-in checkbox to cover your bases. 

Okay now that the boring part is over….

Let’s automate adding contacts from Dubsado into your email list! 

Snag your Zap recipe:

  1. Flodesk
  2. Drip
  3. Klaviyo

If your provider isn’t listed here, don’t worry! The steps are simple:

  1. Trigger: Dubsado > New Lead
  2. Action: YOUR PROVIDER > Create / Update Subscriber > fill in fields from the Dubsado connection for name and email. Make sure to add them to the right list!


Does This Help?

I know you had questions about how to use Dubsado for email marketing, and I hope I helped to clear up some of the confusion. 

Drop a comment below or send me a DM @CaitPotterConsulting if you have any other questions! 

If you’re ready to pull yourself out of the Dubsado weeds and just hire someone to get this setup completed for you – book a discovery call with me here. I offer Done for You and Done With You setups, and can help you get your account fully automated FAST!

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