Email List Management/Legalities

Bulk emailing really isn't my thing - so I'm not really aware of all the legalities/customs/conventions/etc with how lists are to be managed.

I was told today that if, say, I wanted to move my list from Constant Contact to Mailchimp (or go from any "mailer" to another) - I legally have to notify everyone on my list that the change is being made and give them the option to opt out before the switch is made.

Is that true?
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erzoolanderAsked:
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DrDamnitCommented:
True or not, you don't want to play that game. Unless you have written authorization, you basically can't do it because the double opt-in proof and records are in constant contact. So, if someone ever complained about you, they wouldn't have records at mailchimp, and mailchimp may delete your account, suspend you, or otherwise.

The way to move them is easy: open up a mailchimp account, and then mail your constant contact list over and over and get the "active" people to opt into your new mailchimp list. Offer some sort of carrot that they will want to download, and have them opt-in to that new list.

This does three things:

1. it culls the list removing useless names who dont' care or respond to you.
2. It "legally" imports each user to mailchimp
3. It crowdsources the operation to your clients.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I think DrDamnit has a good plan there.  I don't know that it is a 'legal' requirement but you may find that the next mail service may not allow you to upload your old list because they don't have the 'opt-in' info.
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erzoolanderAuthor Commented:
Gracias!
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DrDamnitCommented:
DaveBaldwin's comment "I don't know if that is a 'legal' requirement" points out a flaw in my explanation. (Thanks Dave!)

To be clear: I wasn't making a declaration of the legality of the process, just pointing out the fact that if you ever had to defend your practices, the data would be lost, which means you'd be paying fines.
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