I have about 2000 users of my first product. When they bought (over the past 3 years), I didn't have any checkbox on my order page asking if they wanted to receive notifications or updates from my business. I now find myself shipping product number 2, and want to tell my users of product 1 about it, and offer them a discount on the sale price.
My question: Is it legal for me to email them about product number 2 in the absence of explicit permission to email them. Or is my customer contact list now worthless to me?
Update: Just thought I'd give an update. I took the advice given and emailed all 2000 users, with the appropriate 'unsubscribe' links and full contact info. Response was great: no one complained about receiving the email, new website's been busy for 2 days, and sales have been coming in as a result. Very positive result.
The key is to ensure you have an opt-out of your emails to them. I would just put them on your mailing list and just make sure they have a way to get off. You will be in compliance as long as you follow the other CAN SPAM regulations such as: Including your business name, address, contact information, opt-out option in every email.
It is ok - especialyl if yuo do it ONCE and ONLY once and with an opt in.
All this opt in / opt out to a LARGE degree is for pure non-solicitated communication, legally. Heck, if you find a critical bug security wise in your product you even have a legal obligation to inform them if you knwo about them.
As they bought something, there obviously is a specific amount of interest and legal busienss you have with them. This takes out most anti spam rules.
I would put in a one time mailing with an opt in link for regular updates.
It is a good idea to put on your terms and conditions that any new clients would also be automatically subscribed to ongoing email marketing used by the company.
This depends where you business is located. If you are in the EU then you risk a €10,000 fine per email sent.
Privacy is everything and costs nothing