Why do I need permission?
Sending people unsolicited email marketing, commercial or otherwise, is against the law in many countries worldwide. Besides that, wouldn’t you rather be talking to people who you know are interested in what you have to say?
Who can I send email to?
People who have specifically signed up through your website
For example, by ticking a checkbox (not checked by default) on your signup or sales form.
People who completed offline forms & indicated they wanted to be emailed
Eg: By filling in a competition or survey form where they specifically agree to receive email.
People who gave you their business card and asked to receive email
If someone gives you their business card and you have also explained to them that you will be in touch by email, you can contact them.
They purchased something off you in the last 2 years
By making a purchase from you they have provided their permission implicitly, although it is much better to explicitly ask them.
Who can’t I send email to?
Anybody that is not covered by the list above! Here are some examples:
Lists or email addresses received from a third party
Includes any list you bought or rented, got from a partner or membership organisation. No matter the claims of the source of this list, you cannot send email marketing to them.
Addresses you collected or “copy & pasted” from the Internet
Even if they look like ideal customers for you, you can’t email someone just because you found their address.
Addresses you haven’t emailed in the last 2 years
Permission doesn’t age well. Even if you got their permission legitimately, they won’t remember giving it to you. If you haven’t sent something to that address in the last 2 years, you can’t start now.
For more information, see our permission FAQ.