The law isn’t enough, it’s permission that counts
While the laws are a step in the right direction for reducing the spam problem, we don’t feel they go far enough. For our anti-spam policy, our definition of spam goes beyond the laws in most countries and encompasses what we believe to be true permission email marketing.
Spam is any email you send to someone who hasn’t given you their direct permission to contact them on the topic of the email.
But that’s not enough. Permission is a fuzzy word open to interpretation. Let’s get into some specific scenarios so it’s clear what does and doesn’t constitute permission.
What kind of email addresses are OK to send to with eConnect Email?
To send an email to anyone using eConnect Email, you must have clearly obtained their permission. This could be done through:
- An email newsletter subscribe form on your web site.
- If someone completes an offline form like a survey or enters a competition, you can only contact them if it was explained to them that you would be contacting them by email.
- Customers who have purchased from you within the last 2 years.
- If someone gives you their business card and you have explicitly asked for permission to add them to your list, you can contact them. If they dropped their business card in a fishbowl at a trade show, there must be a sign indicating they will be contacted by email about that specific topic.
Basically, you can only ever email anyone who has clearly given you permission to email them specifically about the subject you’re contacting them about.
What kind of email addresses ARE NOT OK to send to with eConnect Email?
Anything outside the examples above doesn’t equal permission in our eyes, but here are some examples to make sure we’re crystal clear. By using eConnect Email, you agree not to import or send to any email address:
- Which you do not have explicit, provable permission to contact in relation to the topic of the email you’re sending.
- That you bought, loaned, rented, or in any way acquired from a third party. It doesn’t matter what they claim about quality or permission – you need to obtain permission yourself.
- You haven’t contacted via email in the last 2 years. Permission doesn’t age well and these people have either changed email address or won’t remember giving their permission in the first place.
- You scraped or copy and pasted from the web. Just because people publish their email address doesn’t mean they want to hear from you.
Sure, some of these people might have given you their email address, but that does not give you permission to email them commercial messages. Blasting promotional emails to any of these people won’t be effective and will more than likely see your email marked as spam by many of your recipients.
What content MUST I include in my email?
Every email you send using eConnect Email must include the following:
1. A single-click unsubscribe link that instantly removes the subscriber from your list. Once they unsubscribe, you can never email them again.
2. The name and physical address of the sender. If you’re sending an email for your client, you’ll need to include your client’s details instead.
How we’ll know if you don’t have permission
eConnect Email has numerous layers of approval and monitoring to ensure you comply with our anti-spam policy. Here are a few of them:
1. Our software is directly integrated into the spam reporting systems for some of the biggest ISP’s, like Hotmail and AOL. If you don’t have permission and someone marks your campaign as spam, we’ll know about it the moment that button is pressed. If you receive a complaint rate greater than 0.25% of all recipients (that’s 25 complaints for every 10,000 recipients) your account will be terminated. This is a generous figure that takes into account false spam reports.
2. We monitor blacklists and our abuse accounts all day every day. We can easily pinpoint who is causing us delivery problems or attracting complaints.
If we do discover that you’re emailing people without their permission, we will terminate your account with eConnect Email immediately.
In the end, it’s really common sense. Take off your marketing hat and put yourself in your recipient’s shoes. If they don’t recognize who you are, or aren’t interested in what you’re sending, they’ll think you’re a spammer. It’s that simple.