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Contacting previous customers by email about new company/product line.

Could this be considered spam

8:44 pm on Jun 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Our website sells products in a niche market, and the product lifetime is about 10 years, so we don't get very many repeat customers.

Our company is now branching into another niche market, this time with consumables, as it would be nice to get repeat business.

We have about 14 years worth of emails, but I assume that we should only go back a few years, to cross sell the new company product.

I'm a little concern with spam. These were past customers, and we stated that we would not sell the companies email list.

Since the emails are owned by our holding company, we are just cross selling within our group of companies under the same management.

Going forward, we can cross sell in the "we see your order was delivered, any problems?, buy the way try out our new line of products", type followup message.

I'm a little concerned about customers in the past. Maybe I'm paranoid and just over thinking this.

On one hand it could be misconstrued as spam, on the other it is easier to sell to previous customers than new ones, as a trust relationship has been established.

I figure I start out with small e-mailings for the past customers, to see if there is any kind of back lash.

Any suggestions.
9:03 pm on June 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There are rules, but what you are asking is definitely allowed - within the limits. It is covered by the CAN-SPAM Act and the FTC has published some easy to follow guidelines: [business.ftc.gov...]

I often receive this kind of email and if I was happy with my experience dealing with the business I wouldn't dream of reporting it as spam. Some people might, that is why as long as you follow the rules spelled out and be sure to include an easy to use (and functional) way to Opt Out of your list, it should be a good way to promote products and good customer relations. Bottom line is read and follow the laws.
9:59 pm on June 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anyone operating in the EU should note this recent thread:


4:33 pm on June 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Canada own Antispam act comes into effect July 1,2014 which directly impacts my company, however it provides a legal loophole to send one compliance message to past customers.

I just got one from IBM, who I haven't done business with for ten years, and haven't received any email for five.

The message from IBM informed me that the new Anti spam act takes effect on July 1st and that I can unsubscribe. The remainder 90% of the message was a shameless promotion of their products.

Hey if its good enough for IBM, it's good enough for me :)