I got a postcard in the mail from our phone provider. Its rather cryptic wording let me know that they’d be sharing my contact information with other members in their “company family.”
If I wanted to not receive communications from them, I’d have to take steps to opt-out.
I tried to go to their website and it asked for a customer number in a format that didn’t match what my statement had.
I gave up.
Surely, I’ll start getting unsolicited mail from other companies in their “family.”
This is not the type of customer experience you want for your business.
Customer vs. Company
Following the Pareto principle, or 80-20 rule, you can safely assume that 80% of your customers don’t want extra promotional and marketing messages from you unless they are adding value to the customer.
Your business, however, really wants to reach out to more prospects and potential customers.
These two facts directly conflict with each other.
If you side with the customer, you’ll have happy customers which will lead to return customers but potentially less marketing opportunities. Of course, if your product is great, you don’t need to advertise.
If you side with your business, you’ll get more marketable contacts but potentially drive them crazy. Perhaps you’ll make it up in volume but you’ll likely burn bridges in the process.
Your best long-term bet: side with the customer.
Opt Out by Default
Don’t automatically opt-in your customers for marketing and promotional messages via regular mail or email unless they specifically ask for it.
How you treat your customers with issues like opt-in vs. opt-out reflects how you view the customer overall. Your current customers and potential prospects will realize, by your actions, what a long-term relationship with you will mean.
Put customers first and your profits will naturally follow.