Business technology

The lawful way to use personal details entered on your site for marketing

- April 24, 2017 2 MIN READ

A customer starts to order something, and then abandons the purchase. But you have their details. Can you contact them for marketing purposes? The answer is … it depends.

So, a potential customer has come to your site, checked out your goods or services, started to place an order … and then abandoned before checking out. If you’re a savvy small business owner, you’ll want to know why.

Because they started the ordering process, you have their contact details. And you’d like to use those details to get in touch so you can try and close the sale.

What do you need to do to be able to use this valuable information?

You need consent.

The Spam Act says you cannot send a commercial email, SMS or MMS message to anyone who has not consented to being contacted in this manner. You can also get into trouble under the Privacy laws where you use personal information collected from someone for direct marketing without their consent.

How do you get consent to use abandoned shopping cart details?

1. Include notice in your privacy policy

When you collect any personal information such as email, telephone and other personal details, ask for permission to use this and contact them. You need to tell them how and why it will be used. Normally this is part of your website privacy policy.

You can state in your privacy policy that you will use any potential and actual customer details for marketing and other services. For example, many privacy policies on websites state that when you use the website services, you are agreeing to your personal details being used for marketing, newsletters, site improvements and other specified purposes. You just need to make sure you are very specific on what you are collecting and how you are using it.

2. Consent by tickbox

You can have them tick a box confirming they are happy to be contacted for marketing purposes while using your site or providing any information.

Be sure to include an unsubscribe or opt out option on all your emails, newsletters and customer contacts as well as all details required by legislation when you email customers. This includes identifying you, your business, as well as your products and services.

Now go market!