Your website must have a posted privacy policy. No exceptions please.

With e-mail marketing the most practiced form of customer communication and the most common way that contact information is gathered, a privacy policy needs to explain what you plan to do with customer contact information. A privacy policy is a clear description of how your company uses the e-mail addresses and other information you gather via opt-in requests for newsletters, company information, third-party offers, or other functions.

If you rent, sell or exchange your list to anyone outside your company, you should say so in your privacy policy. (For the record, I don’t support or recommend the renting, selling, or exchanging of e-mail lists since most opt-in subscribers don’t want you to misuse or peddle their contact info.)

State laws may also compel you to explain your privacy policy, where to put the policy statement so people will see it, and where the policy should be displayed. As you might suspect, California has the toughest laws on this issue. On the left coast, the law mandates privacy policies on any web site that can be viewed in their state.

Make it easy to find. Place it wherever you collect names and e-mails. I recommend a prominently displayed button on the website to house a statement about privacy.

Do this or you will be called a spammer. Worse yet, you may be breaking the law.

For more information, consult your attorney.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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