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.
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.