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The other thought on that is organizations often let employees walk out without a second glance - situations like layoffs, lack of engagement in the work place, etc. - and the customer knowledge walks with them... even though it's a company list.

Totally, Valeria. A list of 1,000 people who trust you, see value in your offering, are receptive to more information, and likely to share with family and friends is more powerful than a list of 10,000 people at whom you can throw your latest, instantly recyclable print campaign.

Forcing opt-out is a great way to tell people they are just numbers to you. (And making it difficult to opt-out is a great way to turn otherwise indifferent passersby into mortal enemies.) -K

Great article... I have been struggling with creating a database and tuning it into a marketing machine.

You nailed it when you said "For marketing to be successful, you need to have repeatable processes that you can measure and tweak depending on the social situation and context and get you results."

Instead of having 1 master opt in list, you need the ability to segment and consolidate lists in order to deliver a relevant message. That is definitely easier said than done and those that figure out how to do it effectively are building relationships with their customers.

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