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Sharing Your Email Subscriber List for Event Marketing Purposes? Read This First. by Laura Ashley @tailoredmail

Sharing Your Email Subscriber List for Event Marketing Purposes? Read This First. by Laura Ashley @tailoredmail

Sharing your email subscriber list for event marketing purposes? Read this first. by Laura Ashley @tailoredmail

Sharing Your Email Marketing Subscriber List for Event Marketing Purposes? Read This First.

I recently received an email inviting me to a local event called Mamacon. In actuality, it was a relevant message, as I am a mom.  However, I was one hundred percent confident that I had not subscribed to Mamacon’s email list.  It wasn’t until I visited the site and took a look at the sponsors that I figured out why I received the email.  One of the sponsors was a parenting site to which I am an email subscriber.

When I then scrolled down to see if I could unsubscribe specifically from Mamacon’s emails, rather than opting out of both Mamacon and the parenting site, I found I was only offered a single unsubscribe option.  Incidentally, it mentioned neither Mamacon, nor the parenting site, but instead it referred to something called iBuilder.  Huh?  It then linked to the Vertical Response terms of service, which made little sense to me.  I was left with a poor taste in my mouth for everyone involved.  unsubscribe

So was there any wrongdoing?  Put simply, no.  The reality is that CAN-SPAM wasn’t violated.  There is actually no requirement in CAN-SPAM to get permission to email anyone.  The only real requirement is that my resulting opt-out request is honored within 10 days.  That said, I would be less likely to unsubscribe if one or more of the following had occurred:

  • The parenting site had sent the message themselves, promoting specifically their own presence at the events and the benefits of visiting their booth, watching their presentation, etc.
  • I was told up front why I was getting the email in the first place.  The email from Mamacon, at the very top of the email, should have stated that I was receiving the email because I was a subscriber to the parenting site and that it was being sent from one of their trusted partners.
  • More than one opt-out choice was provided. The option should have been offered to either a) unsubscribe from the Mamacon list or b) unsubscribe from all emails from the parenting site and its partners.

Ultimately, the responsibility for properly handling the list rests with the list owner.

Takeaway: If you plan to attend an event in the near future and would like to make sure your subscribers know about it, the best way is to communicate the details yourself.  Simply turning over your list may not only confuse your subscribers, it may turn them off of your organization entirely.

  • Profile:  Laura is a seasoned email and database marketing strategist who has done both business-to-business demand generation and business-to-consumer lifecycle marketing. She has worked with some of the savviest email marketing organizations in the retail, travel, gaming and technology industries. Laura is currently Director of Market Development at TailoredMail, a Seattle-based email service provider who specializes in making email campaigns and landing page content more personalized, social and mobile-friendly.
  • Website:  http://www.tailoredmail.com/blog
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/tailoredmail
  • LinkedIn:  
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Your thoughts here
  1. Laura, these are great points! Any time that a company is allowing 3rd-party offers to be sent to their list, they should do the following:
    1. Include the name of the list the consumer is subscribed to in the mailfrom and mailfrom friendly (so that before even opening the email, it’s clear that the email is coming from a brand the subscriber is familiar with).

    2. There should be an unsubscribe link for the advertiser (the 3rd-party) and for the publisher (the list owner).

    3. The list owner must have permission to send 3rd-party offers to the list.

    If anyone wants more info on how to handle acquisition email from the publisher side, you can also check out our blog here: http://blog.ividence.com/en/archives/two-core-principles-of-acquisition-email-for-publishers-2

    • Completely agree, Lynn. This seems basic, but there are always “newbee” email marketers entering the ranks. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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