Head of E-commerce at DUO
15 June 2007 15:57pm
We would like to offer our online customers an incentive (free postage or the like) for providing us with the names and email addresses of 3 of their friends. We would then like to email these addresses with an invitation to register for our site.
Does anyone know the legality of this? Are we allowed to email people whose addresses have been provided by one of our customers?
thanks a lot!
Director at The Red Dot Company
16 June 2007 09:58am
We ran a promotion about 3 years ago and were advised that it is fine provided that:
The email is from the person and not from the company i.e.
Suject: Take a look at this site
Just thought you might like to take alook at this site because ....
2. You don't store the email addresses unless they respond
3. You take sufficient measures against scripting attacks trying to use your form to send SPAM.
>Does anyone know the legality of this? Are we allowed to
>email people whose addresses have been provided by one of
>thanks a lot!
Director at Achievus Consulting Pte Ltd
16 June 2007 17:32pm
When I was in Germany some years ago, I asked a friend for the contact of another common friend. He said that technically he had to ask the common friend's permission before he could release the details to me. The German privacy regulations are pretty strict.
It is generally OK as indicated by Robnollie that you ask the customer to mail a message to his friend (which he regularly contacts and thus have implied permission) to subscribe to for your contest.
Once they subscribe for the contest, IN AN OPT IN SITUATION, it may not mean that you could used the details provided for other promotions/purposes unless the customers has given expressed permisson.
In an OPT-OUT situation things are easier..we can contact a customer untll he expressedly tells us not to,
Hence it really depends on the country you are talking about and the applicable privacy regulations or law. In USA you can refer to the CAN SPAM ACT..
More details about this and other Spamming Issue may be found at my website
Director at Bee Marketing Ltd
19 June 2007 16:35pm
You can add a 'send to a friend' option to your website, but this cannot be incentivised in any way. Incentivising this form of viral activity contravenes guidelines on permission based marketing as it is viewed as being instigated by the company not the individual. If there is an incentive there is an argument that says the company is the instigator of the message not the individual.
You need to follow some simple rules:
1. Never to use send to a friend where it is incentivised - a discount or a competition entry are considered incentives.2. Explain clearly that the friend needs to be certain they will have the consent of the receiving friend and that we will provide their details.3. Clearly explain that the e-mail has been sent by a friend giving a reference to a friend (name and/or e-mail address).4. Keep a record of all e-mails and e-mail forms so that you have a clear audit trail if there is a complaint.6. Get your legal people to check the wording on the e-mail form.
A good article on the subject can be found at: http://www.out-law.com/default.aspx?page=6590 if you want some background reading.
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