Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mass Email Dangers for MLM Companies

Mass Email = Maximum Risk for MLM Companies

For years, I have warned of MLM Software systems which permit mass email or subscriber autoresponders within the MLM Software System. In come cases, the requests are or the distributors or "Leaders" to have these features. I can not express how wrong this is, nor how much liability you place on your company.
First, can you prove the email recipient requested to receive your communication, ON THIS SUBJECT? While companies don't like it, confirm subscription via a received email is a must. That said, it should be a confirmed subscription to a specific communication subject. Just because a visitor subscribed, does not mean he has agreed to receive all company solicitations, only the particular one he subscribed to. All else is SPAM and brings great risk on the company.
Second, auto responders which fire the moment a registration occurs, without the confirmation link to confirm opt in IS SPAM.
Third, any mass email tool in the hand of Distributors or "Leaders" WILL BE WRONGLY USED. And it will be wrongly used from the company's .com and IP range. I keep repeating, "Desperate People do Desperate Things" and you need to know that most Distributors are Desperate, or are two steps away from being Desperate. Give them the ability to upload a contact list and send emails and guess what... Your Company, Your .com, Your IP range is firing NON Opt-In email solicitations to whomever! SPAM. Not to mention the content... Distributors will promise a bottle of vitamins can cure cancer or a business opportunity can pay $15million per month... join now.
Communications should always be managed from the company, and even then, great care must be maintained in the handling, confirmation of opt-ins, newsletter content, and handling of op-outs.
Recently, I had a conversation with a company, which I encouraged that they speak with an attorney. Later that day, I wrote an email to this person, regarding our conversation and included contact info for an appropriate attorney which I had suggested. I cc'd the attorney and included a paragraph in my email, directly to the attorney, as a means of introduction.
Both the company and the attorney received the email and the introduction was made. An hour later, I received an email from the attorney, who stated "In conformance with the CAN SPAM laws, I appreciate the referral, and direct introduction, however, I will not contact this person directly, but will wait patiently to see if she contacts me."
It's been a long time since I have seen an attorney with such integrity. You may not understand it, but rather than accept the direct introduction, within the email, referenced phone introduction, CC to both company and attorney, direct comments to attorney within same email.... with all that.... CAN SPAM laws basically provide that he had not been contacted by the company and he could not communicate to them. He must wait for response.
You may say, "what is the world coming to?", I say "hoo rah" for those abiding by the restrictions and maintaining a higher standard.
Now, for your MLM Company, you should also know that a Distributor Registration does not indicate Email Newsletter Subscription, nor to what subscription subject matter. It is very important that companies look at their subscription process and forms, then contact an attorney to discuss how to include such during the registration process. Of course, a receipt is one thing, but newsletter and company email can instantly become spam.
Scott H Leonard

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