You probably have several customer contact points where you collect customer and prospect data.

But do you have your contact data fields set up properly and your systems sharing data frequently enough to comply with permission-based marketing rules?

We've compiled a list of a few points you should consider, whether you have separate databases for your CRM and ESP or one.

Whether you are collecting permission to market via email, text or phone, you'll want to make sure your database architecture can accommodate these data points.

Below is our list of database considerations for permission-based marketing:

1) Have different permission checks to opt-in and -out of email marketing, phone calls and text messaging. Contacts may be interested in receiving an email, but not a text. If you only have one checkbox in your data to opt out, you will be opting them out of all communications unnecessarily.

2) If you are collecting permissions for a current or future text messaging campaign, be sure your database has a field specifically for the mobile number you are texting. If you collect an opt-in for a text campaign, and your system sends the text to the office landline phone, you won’t be reaching your contact.

3) Create a process to sync opt-outs across systems. Email opt-outs must be honored within 10 days of the request, according to the CANSPAM act. If your customer service team is taking an opt-out request over the phone, or your Salesforce system logs an opt- out request and your email goes out of another system, make sure you update your email system opt-out list within 10 days of sending an email. This can be done by updating your list before a send or creating an API call to sync continuously.

4) Transactional emails are different than marketing emails. You can send emails to unsubscribed addresses if your message is regarding a specific transaction, like a purchase or account update. Be sure you send transactional emails through an automation process, not a broadcast process, for delivery to all contact records.

5) Preferences centers are a great way to segment your list based on contact interests. If you set them up, be sure to use them. Make sure you’re emailing lists that match the preferences your contacts provided. Examples: you may have different product lines and allow contacts to receive emails based on only a specific product line. Or, you may allow contacts to choose to receive only news updates versus sales notices.

6) Keep a master opt-out list. Maintain a master list that shows who opted-out and when.

As always, take the time to follow industry best practices and you’ll avoid headaches with angry customers or consumers.