Q&A: Implied Consent

Q:
Dear EmailKarma.net,

We sell through distribution and we have five contacts we interact with from Company A, that we currently do business with, that we email with updates on the safety products they purchase from us. Can we email all the contacts that we have in our database from that company, does the implied consent allow us to email any contact within the company we are doing business with (regardless on the business area they are covering)? ex: We do business with Company A on safety products, can we contact them with information on our office supply products?

Please let me know what your opinion is on this scenario.

Thanks for you time,
Name Withheld

A:

I’d recommend if you are planning on using implied consent to communicate with your past purchasers that your ads be as targeted towards the persons responsibilities as you can make them.

This really becomes a “managing data and business logic” problem because these people may not have any influence into the other products you are sending them so these messages would become background noise in their inbox that could cause them to unsubscribe from ALL updates. Irrelevant and frequency of messaging are two of the leading reasons that consumers unsubscribe from further communications from a company, try to find the right balance to prevent over mailing and list burn out.

    For example: if recipient A and B are in charge of office Safety – they get a tailored messages for your safety products, and if recipients C and D are in charge of office supplies they would get tailored messages towards their responsibility as well, and if recipient E is the manager of the purchasing groups maybe they receive both message streams or an amalgamated message covering both product lines.

If you have the ability to ask people for a preference, and explicit consent, I’d ask and add them to the appropriate Safety or Supplies lists, or if you can’t ask build a profile based on their last couple of purchases and tailor the content appropriately. In both cases this doesn’t mean you could never send them other offers – but make them secondary offers and not the primary purpose for each message.

Lastly I’d also recommend putting yourself in the recipients shoes and say would this be relevant to me if I received it as a Safety coordinator, or an office manager. Targeted sends will typically see better results (higher ROI) with a reduced cost for sending.

As an aside, I get lots of off topic pitches from vendors and they actually lead me to not recommend them (as an internal influencer) if I ever get asked because of the off topic nature of their messages. Beware of your messages perception to the recipients and the levels of respect you give to their inboxes.

* This answer is in no way legal advice – I’m just providing my interpretation and best practice recommendations *

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

Author, CPO, Digital Marketing & Privacy Advocate, Gamer Founder of EmailKarma.net and FeedYourConsole.com

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