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Christopher Knight

Email List Ethics, 2004 Style
By Christopher Knight



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With the pressure of the 2003 CAN-SPAM ACT, email marketers and publishers need to take a look under the hood to ensure that their firm is obeying the many rules of the road when it comes to email ethics.

Would you answer Yes to any of these questions?

[ ] I frequently harvest email addresses from the Internet or generate them via a "dictionary" technique to grow my mailing list.

[ ] I think it's ok to fool the reader by making the subject line something that might get the email opened regardless as to whether the content of the email has anything to do with the body of the email.

[ ] It's ok to make the FROM: field of the email be something completely unrelated to the true sender of the email because I need a better shot at getting the email opened up.

[ ] I don't like making it easy to allow folks to unsubscribe from my list, so I send the unsubscribe link, but don't make it a hot-link, and then I think it's ok to make them jump through hoops to get off my list... because list shrinkage is not in my best interest.

[ ] I don't think there is any problem with emailing someone who has opted out of my list because I can always say that it will take 6-10 days for your address to be removed.

[ ] I get back to my email list members personal requests within a week or two. I'm too busy to reply the same day or within 24 hours.

[ ] I can setup a corporation in a foreign country so that I can evade the ramifications of the CAN SPAM ACT.

[ ] If my provider drops me for spamming, I can always find a new one that will take me on.

[ ] When sending commercial email list blasts, I think it's ok to put a non-functioning postal address to abide by the CAN SPAM ACT's guidelines.

[ ] If I send sexually explicit material via email, I will never use a warning label of that fact in the subject line because the email may be trapped by spam filters.

[ ] Single opt-in or opt-in without confiramation is the only way to go.

[ ] My email list hosting provider is compliant with the CAN SPAM ACT, so I don't have to be. Yipee!

[ ] I often rent email lists or swap and trade with my friends so that we can grow our lists faster. Who cares if the privacy or permission level is bent a little as we are not making enough money off this venture anyway.

[ ] When I purchase email lists, I never scrub them for undeliverables because I never trust my email software to properly pull off the true bouncing or dead email addresses.

[ ] I have no problem asking my clients for their email address and then forcing them on my list whether they like it or not. What's the big deal, we already have an implied relationship.

If you answered YES to any of the above items, perhaps you may want to review your answer again. In the Internet as in life, you only get one chance to make a good impression and your email reputation will go with you wherever you go.

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter: http://www.emailuniverse.com/subscribe/.

Ezine-Tips for February 17, 2004

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