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Jun 21, 2001

READER RESPONSE: Tom Kraemer of CMP Media on Opt-In vs. Opt-Out Email Permissions for Rentals

SUMMARY: If you saw last week's issue, you will have heard about the debate that's currently raging among the print magazine publishers who are collecting email names in order to rent them out to marketers like yourself. Now Tom Kraemer, who is in charge of permission marketing for one of the largest publishers in the US, weighs in with is practical advice for everyone who collects email addresses.Useful stuff!
Dear Editor:

Thanks for the mention in your article about opt-out. Perhaps we at CMP Media are overly cautious. That comes from dealing with a market made up of webmasters and network experts who can put our servers out of operation if we get them annoyed. It's amazing how that gives you a perspective on permission marketing. Permission really is the key. The customer's data belongs to thecustomer.

Publishers, and all marketers, need to understand that blanket permission is not given by the mere act of ordering something.

Permission guidelines are constantly evolving. Right now I see three levels of permission for our company:

Customers can expect to get renewals by e-mail for the magazine to which they subscribe unless they say "don't send me any e-mail". But unless they opt-in it's unwise to send them offers for other products. For rental we go even further, using a service that conducts double opt-in.

The reasons for this stratification are not just altruism. The key to success is the ability to keep customers. They're too expensive to replace. If you have no e-mail policy, and the approach is "squeeze 'em for all you can" by renting and promoting without permission, then you'll eventually have no customers to e-mail.

The best questions I heard at the Circulation Management Conference & Expo related to permission, to avoiding sending spam, and doing polite e-mail that builds a relationship with the customer. So there is a portion of the circulation community that recognizes the need for good permission marketing. They'll be the ones still here doing business 5 or 10 years from now, when the average customer is as permission savvy as the webmasters and network technical experts are today.

Tom Kraemer
Director, Customer Relationship Marketing
CMP Media LLC, Business Technology Group

NOTE: To see the article Kraemer is responding to from our last week's issue, please go to:
Trouble Ahead as Trade Magazines Prefer Opt-Out to Gather Email Rental "Permissions"
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