The first thing you want to be sure you don’t do is get over-zealous. The one thing you need to avoid at all costs is spamming. Spamming is still used widely, but with the government establishing more restrictions and fines you don’t want this to be a problem for you. The professional image of your site will also suffer if you send mail blatantly.
Spamming requires a database that contains a huge list of e-mail addresses set up so that the message can be delivered with one click. The problem with it (aside from the governmental restrictions and associated fines) is that it irritates the recipients and kills the validity of your campaign, which in turn kills the factors that would motivate someone to refer your site.
You need to personalize by creating your website with personal appeal. You must see to it that your website makes your customers feel safe, secure and cared for. E-mail is important, because it is going to be one of the most affordable ways to keep in touch with your customers.
The proper way to handle email permission is to first let your customer know that you will not transmit their e-mail addresses to third party companies. The next thing to do is to attach the need for their e-mail addresses to benefits they can receive.
For example: Coupons or discounts that are only available to members who receive e-mail notifications. With each e-mail you send the viral marketing effect takes place.