07 Nov 12 9:09 pm
@esolutions: Not strictly true, but I'll take this moment to clarify exactly what you should and should not do with your customer email addresses.
Basically, how you treat your customer email addresses, and sending your customers email, is covered by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
[Note: I am not a lawyer; if you think you may get pinged, or you are unsure, you should check with your lawyer]
Basically, if you have received a customers email address from a transaction, you *may* use their email for Transactional emails specifically related to that transaction, such as:
- Order confirmation
- Followup to confirm customer details, etc.
- Delivery progress
You may *also* use the customers purchase as implicit subscription to your marketing list. *However*, if you send them any 'unsolicited' email, you must:
- Provide your contact details in the footer of an email, in a readable manner
- Provide a valid unsubscribe link in an obvious location in an email (usually the footer), in a readable manner, and which must work for at least 30 days after the customer receiving the email
- Comply with the unsubscription request within 10 days of the customer wanting to unsubscribe.
If a customer has previously unsubscribed, they should not be automatically resubscribed on a future purchase. Most email marketing software will automatically detect duplicate email addresses though, and prevent this from happening :)
It is also best practice to:
- *Before* sending a marketing email, but *after* purchase, send the customer an 'opt-in' email which allows them to confirm they want to receive marketing emails (e.g. Affilorama does this for first-time customers buying our goods)
- Tell the customers on the sales page, etc, that they agree to receive marketing emails from you
Note that the opt-in email isn't necessary [This is known as single opt-in], nor is a form explicitly asking the user to sign up to your list - as long as they have become a legitimate customer you are permitted (under CAN-SPAM) to use their email address; but please, please please make sure you follow the guidelines above (and the CAN-SPAM requirements).
Hope this helps!