Online privacy leader, TRUSTe has just announced a new reputation program that allows email senders to qualify to display its "We Don't Spam" Email Privacy Seal. The program is intended to inspire consumer trust, and boost email registration on Web sites by assuring consumers that their information will not be used to send them unwanted email.
Consumer concern over spam has made it difficult for many permission-based marketers to convince Web site visitors to sign up for their email marketing programs. In its July 26 announcement, TRUSTe executive director and president, Fran Maier said, "Companies need a way to declare simply, clearly and believably, 'we don't spam.' Our seal lets them say that with confidence and consumers now can trust that they won't be receiving unwanted email from these companies."
To qualify for the seal and continue participating in the program, Senders must have firm permission policies in place, post a clear and conspicuous notice describing how consumers' information will be used, offer a functioning and easy-to-use opt-out link and post a privacy statement fully disclosing its email practices. To stay in the program, senders be must be willing to undergo continued monitoring and participate in dispute resolution.
A lot of companies have taken a run at being the "trusted seal" for email good practices. TRUSTe is one of the few whose reputation is strong enough to make this really work. With all the focus on authentication and deliverability, this offering is a nice complement because it gets at the issue of trust at the relationship's outset, not just after it's underway.