Why do I need permission?
Sending people unsolicited email, commercial or otherwise, is against the law in many countries world-wide. Besides that, wouldn’t you rather be talking to people who you know are interested in what you have to say?
Who CAN I Send Email To?
People who have specifically signed up through your website
For example, by ticking a check box (not checked by default) on your sign-up or sales form
People who completed offline forms & indicated they wanted to be emailed
Eg: By filling in a competition or survey form where they specifically agree to receive email
People who gave you their business card and asked to receive email
If someone gives you their business card and you have also explained to them that you will be in touch by email, you can contact them.
They purchased something from you in the last 2 years
By making a purchase from you they have provided their permission implicitly, although it is much better to explicitly ask them.
Who CAN’T I Send Email To?
Anybody that is not covered by the list above! Here are some examples:
Lists or email addresses received from a third-party
Includes any list you bought or rented, got from a partner or membership organization. No matter the claims of the source of this list, you cannot send email to them.
Addresses you collected or “copy & pasted” from the Internet
Even if they look like ideal customers for you, you can’t email someone just because you found their address.
Addresses you haven’t emailed in the last 2 years
Permission doesn’t age well. Even if you got their permission legitimately, they won’t remember giving it to you. If you haven’t sent something to that address in the last 2 years, you can’t start now.
IMPORTANT: When a recipient clicks the “this is spam” button in their email program, an FBL report is sent to us. We analyze the data, trace it back to the sender that caused the complaint, remove the complainer from the sender’s list, and track future complaints about that campaign. If complaints exceed a reasonable threshold based on list size, we take appropriate action (which sometimes means permanently shutting down your account) to keep our servers clean and off blacklists. To prevent this from happening to you, please be sure you stick to the guidelines above.