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[epub] RE: What is the best policy? What's your policy?
|The reason I ask, is that I've purchased products and end
|up on mailing lists without being told.  The thinking is
|that since I purchased something, that's the permission I

The best practice for e-marketers is really simple. 

*When you want to collect an e-mail address, tell the
consumer what you plan to do with it and ask for consent.*

Just because you sell me something and I become your
customer does *not* give you permission to add me to your
Internet mailing list.

Yes, I appreciate that lots of people don't follow this

Big, powerful organizations like the Email Service Provider
Coalition, TRUSTe and Bonded Sender will tell you that you
have "implied" consent to send someone commercial or
promotional e-mail if you have a "pre-existing" business
relationship with the recipient.

What is a "pre-existing" business relationship? According
to Bonded Sender it means you sold the recipient something
in the last 18 months.

However, Bonded Sender will tell you that you need to add
the statement "this is a solicitation" or "this is an
advertisement" to any commercial e-mail you send to these

Why? You do not have "affirmative consent." 

So? E-mail Marketers live in a regulated environment. When
you send commercial e-mail in bulk without affirmative
consent, you are sending what? ... Yup, that's right. 

Who created this concept of "implied consent" anyway?

How about we forget the marketer's rules for a second, turn
the whole subject on its head and simply ask, "What does
the consumer want?" 

Because marketers have written a set of rules that allow
for "opt-out" marketing, many consumers now consider spam
as any e-mail "I do not want" whether I requested it or not.

Is this right? Remember the old adage, "even if the
customer is wrong, the customer is still right."

Does the consumer like it when the marketer collects their
e-mail address at purchase and without notice, starts
sending him or her commercial e-mail?

How does the consumer feel?

No, not the marketer, but the average consumer? That's
right. You.

Since most lists have a significant proportion of Yahoo!,
MSN/Hotmail or AOL e-mail addresses, the consumer is more
than likely going to click on that little "this is spam" or
"this is junk mail" button. 

The upshot? Enough of these clicks and pretty soon you will
find your list mail is blocked at AOL and filtered to bulk
at Yahoo! and MSN/Hotmail. 

What happens? Response rates plummet and you have to go
through the enjoyable task of "redeeming" your reputation.

So, the next time ask.


John Glube

Need to stay aware and informed?

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