Playing by the Rules
So what does “prior business relationship” mean? A prior business relationship exists between a company and any customer who has registered, inquired or purchased, online or off, with permission or without.
By its very nature, “prior business relationship marketing” means follow-up communications to existing customers and prospects.
While this is a successful model, it limits any marketer with an impetus to acquire new customers. But the off-line world concept of endorsed or affinity mailings may be adapted to the “prior business relationship” framework for successful acquisition efforts. In other words, two complementary companies, such as Spiegel and American Express, mail co-branded messages to one another’s carefully selected, screened house file.
“What we see is that this is the only way to prospect legitimately through e-mail with the law now in California and laws in the next year expected that will probably follow that law,” says Wardell.
Forming a strategic alliance with another company is more labor intensive and time-consuming than simply renting a list of names, but with the increasing restrictions on marketing, if you want to market using e-mail, you’ve got to be more aggressive in terms of how you come up with names.
In e-mail marketing, you can cut complaints, boost response and comply with the law if you:
1. Clearly mark your message as an advertisement.
2. Clearly identify your own company as the sender.
3. Send your message only to targeted lists of consumers who match your customer profile.
4. Provide a simple way for consumers to opt out of receiving further messages.
5.Suppress the list against your own do-not-mail list, The Direct Marketing Association’sE-mail Preference Service (e-MPS) and any other applicable global opt-out lists.
6. Are willing to respond to customer concerns and engage in an open dialogue.