More NewsAIM to Endorse “Append”

AIM to Endorse "Append"

The DMA subsidiary approves the controversial practice and plans to release a document outliningbest practices.

The Association of Interactive Marketing plans to release a best-practices document on email “append” next week, endorsing the controversial issue and potentially bringing it a step closer to industry-wide adoption.

AIM, a subsidiary of the Direct Marketing Association, said it plans to release the document next week to attendees of the DMA/AIM net.marketing conference in New York, in an effort to inform marketers about email append and to encourage feedback on the document.

The practice, which adds email addresses to companies’ offline consumer profiles, remains untested throughout much of the direct marketing industry, but could prove a boon to multi-channel marketers’ efforts, proponents say.

“What we’re saying is if we have permission and if you follow best practices, it’s something you should consider,” said AIM Executive Director Ben Isaacson. “Our stance is that we’re saying is it’s okay …. AIM’s mission is to help with multi-channel marketing and using the Internet best with offline, and this just follows.”

“Companies are trying to figure out the best ways to do it, and to figure out the response rates after implementing append,” he added. “It’s being brought … to the companies that are implementing it, and to those that are more on the periphery that haven’t approached it yet and want to know how to do it, and that want to know the permission issues and the effects they should see on their lists going forward.”

Lacking the full strength of DMA-approved industry guidelines, the AIM document is intended only as a first attempt to weigh in on the issue and to elicit opinion from the industry at large, Isaacson said.

That’s going to be important for the group, considering the controversy surrounding email append.

The questions stem from concerns about value and privacy. First, email lists tend to sour quickly due to churn in consumers’ email addresses, with some estimating that a third of lists’ addresses go bad each year. As a result, there’s the chance that marketers who pay for an append could find within months that a sizable portion of their spend has essentially been wasted.

Perhaps more importantly, privacy advocates have long maintained that just because consumers opted in to receiving direct mail from a company, that doesn’t mean they’ve agreed to receive email. As a result, email sent by the marketer could be construed as spam — and thus, be detrimental to the relationship with the consumer.

Prompted in part by those questions, AIM and its Council for Responsible E-Mail, which drafted the best practice document, are going public with its endorsement.

“We’ll be looking for feedback from the overall marketing community, as well as the companies actually doing the append,” Isaacson said.

Next, the trade association plans to solicit feedback on the document from marketers, email append firms, and potentially, consumer advocates, before beginning work on a formalized set of guidelines for approval and endorsement by the DMA’s Ethics Committee, and inclusion in the DMA’s Online Commercial Solicitation Guidelines.

The guidelines could be ready for distribution as soon as October, in time for the DMA’s annual meeting.

“Certainly, we see DMA Annual as the next big event when we would distribute something with a strong stance on the issue,” Isaacson said.

Related Articles

GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

Data & Analytics GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

3w Clark Boyd
What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

Legal & Regulatory What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

8m Al Roberts
Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

Media Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

8m Al Roberts
Is Twitter slowly dying?

More News Is Twitter slowly dying?

9m Al Roberts
FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

Ecommerce FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

9m Al Roberts
Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

Ecommerce Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

8m Al Roberts
YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

More News YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

9m Al Roberts
YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

Ad Industry Metrics YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

9m Al Roberts