Real permission is different from presumed or legalistic permission. Just because you somehow get my email address doesn’t mean you have permission. Just because I don’t complain doesn’t mean you have permission. Just because it’s in the fine print of your privacy policy doesn’t mean it’s permission either.

Seth Godin

Seth Godin, pitchman for common sense and a marketer’s marketer, wrote a post recently that should be printed, laminated, and stuck on the wall of every single person who is even contemplating sending a ‘promotional’ email out to a customer or prospect. Marketers everywhere should read it every day (some, probably twice a day.) They should point to it every time someone walks into their office and says, “Hey, we have an email list, right?” They should print extra copies and have them on hand for marketing meetings, sales meetings, board meetings, and water cooler gatherings.
In a word, this is the truth, as hard as it is to hear and as hard as it is to follow. Do this, and reap the rewards. Don’t, and, well… The world is full of people who squandered long-term opportunities in pursuit of short-term gains.
[Read Permission Marketing from Seth Godin’s blog.]