4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 10, 2013 5:44 AM by 31491

    Question as to whether this is the right example of an operational email

           We sell our products primarily through Distributors internationally. A few times a year, we need to send emails to these distributors about new product announcements and to provide them our latest product price list. Recently, we discovered that many of the contacts at these Distributor Accounts have opted out of email. Chances are, they opted out of marketing emails, but they do need to get our price list and new product announcements to do their jobs. As a result, they haven't received these items.

           So my question is, are new product announcements and price list update emails to our distributors legally considered Operational as in relationship messages? I believe they are because they're not marketing emails, and they are part of the relationship between us and our distributors contractually, but I wanted to make sure.

           Thanks!

            

        • Re: Question as to whether this is the right example of an operational email
          Hey Karen,

          I'm not sure about this one... I'd think they wouldn't be operational. I think of operational as confirmation emails, reminder emails. Is there anything in the distributors' contracts about communications?

          Anything promoting your product (announcements) or a email including other links prob wouldn't be operational.

          In this case if they DO need the price list, I'd prob have someone in your company (ex: SE, or head of sales) send them the list from their own email address, just to be on the safe side.

          Kim
          • Re: Question as to whether this is the right example of an operational email

                 Hi Kim:

                 Distributors work to sell a company's products, in this case, our products. Without such communication on new products or our current pricing, they can't do their job. I don't know if communication is in their contracts, but I cannot imagine having a contractual relationship with a distributor/reseller that would exclude communication on the very reason we have the contractual relationship.

                 Thanks,

                 Karen

                  

            • Re: Question as to whether this is the right example of an operational email
              Hi Karen,

              Technically "Operational Emails" are "Transactional Emails". They are the result of a form fill for example. Your questions is more about if you are allowed to email them at all, if they are unsubscribed. Laws differ per country. The US has CAN SPAM. Which means you can spam them as much as you want until they unsubscribe. This is meanly implemented for protecting people that don't know your company from receiving junk email. However you can always email your customers (at least in the EU). If your customer unsubscibed via Marketo, your account manager still sends him emails via Outlook right? So setting these pricing emails to "Operational" does make sense when you look at your company vs. your customer. But it maybe doesn't solve your relation with Marketo and their guidelines. I would contact Marketo first if they approve the situation, and next talk to a legal expert in the states.
              • Re: Question as to whether this is the right example of an operational email
                Thank you, Diederik. We do communicate with these Distributors via regular email and by phone, so I agree with you. This is a transactional email. These people unsubscribed before we started using Marketo, which we've only been using for a couple months now. 

                Thanks again,
                Karen