A topic that comes up frequently on e-commerce forums is the etiquette and legality of email marketing to people who have never explicitly opted in. For example, suppose you launch a newsletter. Is it legitimate to send it to
- all your old clients?
- email addresses from business cards you got at a Chamber event?
- an opt-in list from a different division of your company?
- do this with care, if at all – the best practice is 100% opt-in
- don’t think ’email blast’ – think ‘relationship’
- lists are not like fine wine – they don’t get better with age – so reconfirm them if they’re old
- start with a request for permission, not a newsletter
- expect that 50-80% of the addresses in your list will not be interested
Just because they did business with you once doesn’t mean they want to receive your marketing material now.