Well, there really is a FLURRY of activity over the law to be sure, and a lot of unnecessary panic (see my blog, anti-spam CALM DOWN) and there is a need to pay attention and get in compliance now – but if you are a B2B marketer, there is really good news for you.
Implied Consent is an open invitation for businesses to continue doing business with each other, FOR NOW.
“Implied consent means you have a personal or family relationship with someone, or an existing business or non-business relationship. It also includes situations where someone displays their email address on a website without a notice that they do not wish to receive solicitations.
An existing business relationship means you could have:
- bought or leased a product, good, or service from the business owner in the past two years
- been involved in an investment or gaming opportunity with the customer in the past two years
- entered into a written or electronic contract with the customer in the last two years
An existing non-business relationship can stem from many things. You could have:
- made a donation or gift to a registered charity or political organization in the past two years
- volunteered with the charity or political organization in the past two years
- been a member of an organization’s club, association or not-for-profit volunteer association in the last two years
When you think about the inclusion that if you publish your email address without stating a “do not solicit” message, you have given implied consent, that is a BIG group of people. Implied consent can feel like a “get out of jail free” card for B2B businesses – and in many ways it is. But not forever.
You cannot continue to email those whom you have only implied consent forever. You can email those collected before July 1 2014 for 3 years, and for those collected after July 1 2014 for 2 years, but ALL your contacts will have to be converted to express consent at some point.
For now, make sure your double (or confirmed) opt-in process is in place now with your email marketing service provider (I love Constant Contact for simple email marketing projects), add your address to the bottom of your ‘regular’ email messages (Outlook, Gmail etc) and add an un-subscribe mechanism to your signature and keep on marketing!