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Treating Tell-A-Friend names like leads

Working them before they've initiated contact

     
7:01 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I guess the new plan is to put a "Tell A Friend" script of some sort on our site. Whomever the "friends" are would then get worked like a regular lead (regular lead = filled out our request for information form on one of our sites). I said this probably breaks some laws and it's not ethical. These people have never contacted us (many probably never heard of us) so we don't have any existing relationship and we can't contact them.

I said what we would need to do is to send the friend an e-mail explaining that so-and-so said they might be interested in our services and provide them a link to click if they are interested (and then make them fill out a form with all of their info just like a regular lead would have) and if they aren't interested they could do nothing and no further contact would be made.

Has anyone else dealt with this or know any laws or regulations?

7:15 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Check out "unsolicited email" for answers.

Some social networking sites use this tactic and are very annoying. "Your Friend suggested you might..." and once tagged by your friend you might be interested YOU can't stop this SPAM REQUEST repeated ad nauseum until you join their system long enough to say "don't send me any more of this ... (insert favorite appellation here)".

Personally don't deal with them. That's why junk filters were developed. But for every one of those I've received there is at least ONE more site on the web I will never visit, nor speak highly of.

8:35 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



it's still worth doing though. i'm sure google and yahoo and MSN take note of the URLs that pass through people's emails. that's kind of like a vote of confidence. they probably give them a boost like they do for backlinks.
i'd be surprised if they didn't do that.
9:01 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I am not sure about the USA, but in Canada you can typically contact someone once to ask if you can contact them in the future. An opt-in scenario.

You cannot contact them a second time if they do not respond.

You cannot form the agreement such that they opt-in by inaction. That is you can't ask them...

"Please respond to this letter if you DO NOT want to be contacted in the future"

It MUST BE

"Please respond to this letter if you DO want to be contacted in the future"

They must make some action to opt-in. Either by filling out a form or by responding to an email with something indicating the want to be contacted.... something like "Sign me up"... not an automated email that tells you they are on vacation and they will respond when they get back.

[edited by: Demaestro at 9:04 pm (utc) on May 14, 2009]

9:28 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Check out "unsolicited email" for answers.

Well our contact method starts out with 30 days of aggressive phone calling. We do respect any do not call requests, the do-not-call list, not interested replies, etc...
It's often THAT hard to get a hold of a person; and that's a qualified person that showed interest by filling out our form

So I guess as long as they're not on the do not call list, we're OK?

9:34 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



So I guess as long as they're not on the do not call list, we're OK?

Asking for a legal opinion. I don't play a lawyer and would never offer legal advice.

But I am the fellow on the other end of that and have been known to be rude to those who invade my privacy with cold calls. :)

10:11 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



We do respect any do not call requests, the do-not-call list

That's just asking for trouble. I am on the DNC list and I report ALL violators to the FTC.

It's often THAT hard to get a hold of a person; and that's a qualified person that showed interest by filling out our form

That's a completely different issue. If THEY entered THEIR phone number in your contact form, that supersedes being on the DNC list. However, if A FRIEND put THEIR number on your tell a friend script, that does NOT supersede the DNC list.
 

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