My family and I recently went on a vacation.

We rented a house in a coastal town, and on Wednesday of that week, we ended up having lunch in town at a restaurant right on the harbor. The lunch was great and went off without a hitch (which is a rarity, as we have three very active sons).

Except for one interesting incident

As we were looking over the menu on the outside patio, a person came by carrying an armful of roses looking to sell them to the folks having lunch. Before he made his way over to us (but after asking a few other people eating lunch), the host who seated us (and who may have been the owner) intercepted him and told him he could not sell the roses to his customers while they are in his restaurant eating lunch. The gentlemen selling the roses tried to get him to change his mind a few times with no success.

I won’t say things got heated, but the host eventually had to (nicely) escort the rose vendor off the patio. However, before he did, he uttered one final comment…

“Get your own **bleeping** customers, will ya?”

When I heard this, I could immediately relate to the host, as it brought me right back to something that we here at Constant Contact hold as one of our guiding principles — your customers are your customers. This may sound like a small and almost pithy phrase. However, it is one that carries so much importance for us.

As our customers, you instill a great deal of trust in us

You trust us with one of your greatest and most important assets (potentially even the most important asset) you have related to your business or organization — your contact and event registrant names. These are people with whom you do business — with whom you have cultivated a relationship. We have simply helped you create and/or grow the relationship you have with these people; we have no relationship with these people and have no right to ever contact these people.

And we never will contact your customers

Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing reality with some other companies in our space (particularly some other event marketing companies) where they feel it is okay and acceptable to market to your contacts and your event registrants. In fact, they not only believe it is okay, they actually include it in their Terms and Conditions by indicating they may use the information they receive and collect about your registrants for their own marketing and advertising purposes.

To us here at Constant Contact, this is simply unacceptable

I just keep thinking back to what the gentleman in the restaurant said to the flower vendor, and I would suspect that you, our customers, would agree that it also applies to those companies looking to market to your registrants or your contacts — “Get your own customers, will ya?”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please share them in the comments below.