Years may go by and it can go unnoticed until it arrives: a rift develops between you and someone who partnered with you to build a business. But the assets of the business have been jointly managed. One of those critical assets is customer contact information.
If the owner of that data is clear, then the next question is how it will be
preserved/maintained, and continue to be accessed. If you lose it, the best case scenario is you have to start from scratch (which may be more daunting than it appears).
Having a backup is good insurance, yet it is only as good as the one most recent and if the contact info is sufficient. If you backup daily and can actually re-contact those listed, then you virtually have no worries. If not...let the suspense begin.
With a direct response website you improve your odds tremendously.
Direct response means building a list of contact name and email (at a minimum), and maintaining contact on a scheduled basis. No scrambling to protect your base.
It makes good sense to have an auto-responder when obtaining email to enable double opt-in and ensure compliance with the anti-SPAM laws. All this means is that you register with a service that will manage email and send a follow-up message that asks for confirmation when someone initially subscribes.
It also sends messages (maintaining contact) on schedule.
Auto-responder services take the work out of creating ways to make sure your subscriber is not some kind of bot, ways to present your opt-in widget, and assure a high deliverable rate for bona fide email addresses (working with all major Internet Service Providers) as no ordinary email responder can.
Once you have that list and how to unsubscribe clearly communicated, you get a stable and coherent database that can be transported and organized so much easier. For example, You could send an announcement to everyone on your list with a single click. Compare that to having to contact every single sender in your inbox. You don't miss anyone, you don't have to double-check if you've already notified someone, and you can spend more time growing your business.
The cost of having an auto-responder can be under 2.00/day (and several will allow you the first x number of subscribers for free, but be aware of the terms). If you have a larger concern you might use "contact management" or "email enterprise solutions" or customer relationship management (CRM) software. The investment is worth many times what you pay.
So this all brings us back to the point: carrying on a business when the
partnership dissolves, means having options. An auto-responder as part of a direct response website gives you options. One of the best auto-responders for small businesses is Aweber. Very easy to set up with plenty of help docs and videos. See my affiliate link http://www.aweber.com/?323092
May all partnerships past or present stay on good terms.
[I have an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the
providers of goods and services mentioned in this message and may be
compensated when you purchase from a provider. However, all affiliate sources have been verified to the best of my ability/experience as I value my reputation.]