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I was in a well know home furnishings store over the weekend with my wife. As we were checking out, the clerk turned to me with a nice smile and said “Would you like to sign up for our email list to receive special promotions in your inbox”. In my mind I said “hell ya” being the email dude that I am.
After I said yes, she said “that’s great…go ahead and fill out that sheet on the counter and we will be sure to enter you into our system.” When I looked down on the counter there is was..in plain view, a sign up sheet (like the ones you had in school) with peoples names, address’, birthdays, phone numbers and email address’ right there for the world to see. I asked why they have a sign up sheet like this to grab my information, why they have it for everyone else to see my information on it and asked if they were concerned over my privacy as a customer. She smiled and then said “well our legal department says its ok…” as if she has said it a million times and totally felt comfortable saying so.
Folks..think about it. Just because its legal, doesn’t mean its the right thing to do. Yes, grabbing my email address at the register is a great thing for companies to engage in. Asking me to put it down on a sheet with a bunch of other information is a horrible violation of my privacy and makes for an awkward customer experience.
Just because its legal, doesn’t mean its the right thing to do should carry over to many aspects of your email program. If you want to do something, spend the time and do it right. I wonder how many attorney’s would fill out their information on a sheet of paper and wonder how many of you reading this would too.