The 5 rules of opt-in marketing

By Jitendra Gupta, CEO of Punchh

On Nov. 14, a U.S. District Court judge in Seattle certified a class-action lawsuit against Papa John's International Inc., calling for as much as $250 million in damages for the alleged transmission of 500,000 text messages to consumers who claim they did not consent to receive such texts. (Click here to read more.)

As a restaurant marketer, if you want to make sure that your marketing technology vendors will help you define, monitor and comply with your opt-in strategy, here are what we view as Five Rules of Opt-In:

  1. Opt-in is NOT optional: You cannot ignore this basic rule that every consumer expects you to follow.
  2. Opt-in is for ALL channels: The Papa Johns' lawsuit and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act focus on SMS text messages, automatic dialing systems, fax machines, and voice messaging systems. Regardless of the law however, most consumers have the same expectation for all channels that they use to interact with brands: email, mobile, and social channels.
  3. Opt-in is channel-specific: Consumers expect that the permission they have given brands to communicate with them only applies to specific channels. For example, if a consumer has subscribed to an email newsletter, that doesn't mean that they can automatically be sent an SMS message. Or a customer wanting a push notification sent to them via their mobile device does not automatically agree to receive an email.
  4. Opt-in is brand-specific: If a consumer has subscribed to Starbucks' email club, they haven't automatically agreed to be spammed by competing coffee brands or other restaurant brands in their neighborhood.
  5. Opt-in is time and context-specific: An opt-in is only valid until they opt-out. At any time, a consumer should be able easily to opt-out of marketing communication with the brand.

Reprinted with permission. Gupta is CEO of Punchh, a social loyalty platform for restaurants.

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