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-   -   Ethics of customer mailing lists (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f19/ethics-customer-mailing-lists-273251/)

Bobby_M 10-08-2011 04:28 AM

Ethics of customer mailing lists
 
I wanted to get some feedback from you guys. I have a newsletter system installed on my website so anyone that puts their email address in will get a rare email from me announcing new products or stock updates, etc. It's currently a pure opt-in system. They put their address in and if by some chance they want out immediately, it's a simple one-click link in the newsletter and they are off.

However, I have many more emails in my transaction lists from before I added the newsletter signup. The question is, is it wrong or in poor taste to add previous customers to the mailing list given how easy it is to opt out immediately? I'm torn because even though it would drive sales, I also think a good portion of previous customers would be interested in getting news. Maybe not. Help.

Just to make sure someone isn't reading between the lines, this has nothing to do with selling people's info or anything.

DarkPhyre 10-08-2011 04:30 AM

what you do with emails left to you are your business. Unless when you gathered them you explicitly said they won't be used for any purpose then the purchase, you are clear to go. Especially since they may opt out.

iaefebs 10-08-2011 04:34 AM

Don't sell your list and send me any rare email you want. I use several different addresses I'm not sure which one I used when I ordered from you. But normally I use a disposable one. If i get spam I start a different account. I wouldn't mind hearing from you once in awhile.

AZ_IPA 10-08-2011 04:37 AM

I'm with dark. Unless you specifically said you wouldn't use them for anything, I dont see a problem. Though, as you know, you can never please all of the people all of the time.

I've bought from you and would be fine getting a newsletter, especially if the opt in/out was,clear and easy.

DarkPhyre 10-08-2011 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iaefebs (Post 3369241)
Don't sell your list and send me any rare email you want.


I don't believe he is considering selling them. He just wants to use previously gathered e-mails to his newsletter.

Palefire 10-08-2011 05:32 AM

I think it's totally fine, as long as you provide an easy way to opt out in the e-mail itself.

I don't quite agree that since you didn't initially specify what you would do with people's e-mails, you can therefore do whatever you want with them. But getting an occasional e-mail from a small business doesn't seem like an abuse of trust. I say go for it.

twig 10-08-2011 06:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkPhyre (Post 3369229)
what you do with emails left to you are your business. Unless when you gathered them you explicitly said they won't be used for any purpose then the purchase, you are clear to go. Especially since they may opt out.

I lean the other way on this one. Unless I explicitly agree to be put on a mailing list, I'd be rather annoyed to start receiving unsolicited emails. The problem with the opt-out links is that spammers use them to verify email addresses (making them more valuable to sell), so you can't always trust the opt-out links.

You could send one email out to all the old emails you've collected inviting them to join your mailing list, then only adding those who agree.

jwright 10-08-2011 06:25 AM

Or you could send out an introductory email welcoming all those who have previously provided you with an email address to the newsletter and include an opt out option on the email. I think you have a pretty solid reputation as a stand up guy. While there will always be a few annoyed individuals I think most will not be bothered - they did provide the email to you in the first place.

jason

wildwest450 10-08-2011 06:26 AM

It's the internet, there are no ethics.

_

DarkPhyre 10-08-2011 06:36 AM

I'll let you do it as long as I get free stuff.

:)


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