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Should You Share Your E-Mail List?

Image of woman sharing her thoughts...I recently received an E-Mail Newsletter from a National Bed and Breakfast Association of which Acorn Internet Services is an affiliate member.

They were asking members of the Association “to share the email lists that you’ve collected at your property with the Association to create the foundation for a powerful new type of high-service email marketing strategy.”

Innkeepers today face a variety of challenging choices and decisions. Some of these choices and decisions can lead to success, but wrong choices or decisions can lead your business in the wrong direction.

You only have to follow our Acorn IS Blog to know we are constantly cautioning Innkeepers to be careful when it comes to choices on "serious topics" that can impact their business.

In our Blog, we have covered a variety of these “serious topics”  during the past few months:

And today we are adding another "serious topic" for your consideration:

Is Sharing Your E-Mail List a Good Idea?

So let’s see what others are saying about this topic…

From Copy Blogger  Click to read full article

"You absolutely must not: Share or sell the email addresses on your list. The people who signed up for your list trust you to keep their information safe. Don’t betray that trust by sharing or selling the contacts on your list."

From Constant Contact  Click to read full article

"If you’re a business that respects the trust and privacy of your customers, you should never share your email list.   Sharing your list could damage your reputation, hurt customer relationships, and ruin the trust that you’ve worked so hard to build."

From Hubspot  Click to read full article

"If someone actually had a good email list, they'd keep it to themselves because they don't want to see the value of those email addresses diminished by letting other people get their hands on it. Think about it -- would you sell or share the email addresses of those who have voluntarily opted in to receive email from you? I didn't think so."

Beyond your reputation, there are also legal ramifications you should take into consideration before deciding to share your E-Mail list, or asking those on your list to become subscribers of other E-Mail lists.

In 2003 President George W. Bush signed the CAN-SPAM Act which established the United States' first national standards for the sending of commercial E-Mail and requires the (FTC) Federal Trade Commission to enforce its provisions. 

Additional Opt-In Laws in North America and Europe and supporting links can be located here.   Keep in mind that US, Canadian, and European rules are not the same. 

I’d also recommend you review your own E-Mail systems rules and guidelines when it comes to sharing E-Mail addresses or inviting your subscribers to join other lists.

Such E-Mail systems include, but are not limited to:

  • Mail Chimp
  • Constant Contact
  • Your Mailing List Provider (YMLP)
  • Etc.

Finally, it is always best to consult your own legal counsel if you are not sure of how to proceed. 

As Innkeepers, you hold the keys to your ultimate business destiny.

Making the right decisions create a successful business.

Making the wrong decisions can not only damage your reputation, but can cost you money. 

3 thoughts on “Should You Share Your E-Mail List?

  1. I whole heartedly agree that one’s business email list must not be shared. First, your list has an asset value for business. Would you freely give up any of your other business assets? Secondly, those you would share your list with may have different business objectives that may be in conflict with yours or in the least will dilute the effectiveness of your list in pursuit of your objectives.

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