.Your list of email addresses has to be managed carefully, respectfully and with courtesy. Especially if you do business globally, with the new GDPR EU regulations, not managing customer data properly can turn into a headache and fines.
Just because you can…
…doesn’t mean you do!
Simply by communicating briefly with a new acquaintance doesn’t mean you automatically add them to your business promotional email list. Nor do you farm addresses from forums or groups of those whom you’ve made initial contact.
New contacts met at a business function are not to be automatically added to your email blasts either. That is unless you ask, “…mind if I add you to my email list?” and they clearly approve.
The only valid reason to add any new contact to your list is if they specifically asked you to. You know this because they signed-up on your site. Or you discussed the topic of doing so and they showed interest.
This doesn’t mean they get added by completing your contact form alone. Not unless they specifically checked that “subscribe to our updates” check box. Don’t have one on your form get one. This allows them to indicate they provided permission for you to email them in the future.
If not through your site, I would recommend having a double-opt-in process. When you add them to your list, they receive an email requesting they confirm being added. Better safe than sorry. This is your brand and image at stake!
No adding without explicit permission!
Exchanging emails with a contact once or twice doesn’t mean they should be added to your group mailing list. Doing so could have you labeled as a spammer!
Privacy and Respecting Customer Data Matters
Never assume that someone you just met will automatically want to receive mass emails from you about your business or anything else for that matter. If a person does not specifically give you permission to be added to your mailings, you should not add them — period. It is not good business practice to make folks unsubscribe from lists they didn’t sub to in the first place!
When it comes to forming new relationships and long term business partnerships, sending mass emails to someone new can cause them to distance themselves from you moving forward. In business, adding new contacts to your email blasts, newsletters or e-zines without specific permission to do so can cause folks to decide to not do business with you.
You’ll know this to be the case when you receive their unsubscribe request shortly after they receive your mailing.
Always ask before you add!