Gaining consent from customers or prospects has become a central tenet of
all modern direct marketing and customer communications and is at the
heart of the legitimate e-mail marketing versus spam debate. Yet defining
consent can be a really tricky business. And documenting consent can be
even more difficult.
If your prospect remembers exactly what
they gave you permission to do and you were very clear about what was
going to "happen or be done," everyone is probably OK. But if at
some point they were to claim the company abused or did not even have
permission, then it is their word against your company's possibly
incomplete database record.
It used to be marketers could simply ask
forgiveness if they annoyed people with a call during dinner or unwanted
mail. Not any more. Now it not only is considered good form but is
increasingly becoming a legal requirement to ask permission before
contacting consumers. And, as the old saying goes, it's a lot harder to
ask permission than forgiveness.
states have enacted email spam laws. California passed a law effective
January 1, 2003 prohibiting anyone from sending unsolicited commercial e-mail
advertisements to California e-mail addresses. Senders of unsolicited
messages could be held liable for damages of up to $1,000 for each
message to an individual and up to $1 million for each e-mail
advertisement sent out.
The Federal Trade Commission began enforcing the "Do Not
Call" (DNC) legislation on October 1, 2003. Federal legislation
requires that you must respect the DNC list and you must maintain your
own inner-company DNC List. The federal fines for violating the DNC
legislation, whether it be the National DNC List or your own company DNC
list is the same: $11,000.
The DNC Legislation contains provisions for faxing: you must receive
express written permission before sending unsolicited advertising by
fax. And disregarding opt-outs can result in TRIPLE fines. This
legislation was effective January 1, 2005.
afford to be unprotected.
You have the tool for collecting prospect
and customer information: GoldMine. You now have the tool for
updating GoldMine with your permission marketing requests:
BounceLinker. BounceLinker is recommended by FrontRange Solutions as
a tool for handling permission marketing updates in GoldMine.
an easy to use web form, BounceLinker can handle all forms of opt-in's and
opt-out's: phone, fax, email and mail.