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From the author of Closing the Deal

Closing the Deal

Whatever you do or don’t offer people to opt into your mailings, you have to ask for customers' permission to send them emails, and they have to respond in the affirmative. You can’t imply permission; it has to be explicit.

This isn’t like the old book or record club businesses, after all, which operated with what was called a “negative option” process. In those scenarios, you assume you have the customer’s permission to proceed unless they check a box saying not to send the mailings. The negative option approach is kind of permission by negligence, more implicit than explicit—which is why it's not recommended for organizations wishing to avoid getting tagged with the spam label.

So you need to explicitly ask customers for their permission to send them email promotions. This request for permission is typically done via a simple checkbox. If the customer checks "yes," you can add his or her name to your list—if not, you can't.

By the way, it’s also a good idea to include a link to your company's privacy policy near the email signup block. For those customers who are aware of and concerned with privacy issues, you need to assure them that you'll hold their data close and not share it recklessly with other firms.

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