What is counted as permission to send emails?

There is a big difference between a mailing list and permission to send emails to it.

By using our service, you agreed to follow the antispam policy. If you cannot prove that you have the recipient’s permission – you are sending spam!

Our service is based on the fact that sending emails without recipients’ permission is prohibited.

So what is counted as permission?

The main purpose of the text below is to explain what is considered as a "resolution for email sending" relying on the most popular methods of collecting addresses:

I bought/rented a 100% subscription base from a seller with a good reputation.

NO! It does not matter what claims the seller makes, you may not use a list obtained from third parties. There is no single option in which you could use such list, even if you paid for it; it is not counted as permission for newsletters.

A bought list is always a bought list.

They all subscribed at my shop/online shop.

YES! Ideal! This is clear permission. But make sure you: only send subscribers information that has been promised; send the first email immediately, not months after the subscription; and send emails with a periodicity of more than once a few months.

Also remember that there is a big difference between the purchase of your product and permission for the newsletter. Until you have received the consent, you have no right to send emails.

People tend to forget about where and what they signed for. That is why it is very important to send your recipients interesting content, and do it on a regular basis.

We were sponsors at the exhibition and we’ve got a list of participants.

NO! This is a common mistake. This list is not permission. It is not clear whether the participants will want to receive your emails, and direct permission for your company to send them emails has not been given.

Exhibition list participants are not a legal mailing list, even if the organizers are telling you otherwise.

We were sponsors at the exhibition and people subscribed at our stand to receive our emails.

YES! Much better! These people know who you are and they expressed their interest for notification from you.

Do not wait too long after the event to send the subscribers an email, and remember to mention their visit to your stand in the first letter.

This list is a few years old. All the people on the list subscribed through my website/stand/shop.

MAYBE. If you have not sent emails to these people in the past year, they have most likely forgotten about you and are possibly not interested in your information anymore. 

If it has been 6 months to a year since the last mailing, start with the usual reminder email with a suggestion to unsubscribe if they are no longer interested in information from you.

These customers made a purchase in my store/on my website.

MAYBE. This is a good start. If these are existing clients or customers who have made purchases recently (in the last two years), continue building relationships!

If it has been more than 2 years and you did not send emails to them on a regular basis, then nothing happens. Permission does not last forever - use it or forget it.

These are my clients from my poker site/adult site/pharmaceutical site.

NO! Unfortunately, you cannot send emails through our service. Our reputation and deliverability of emails is kept at a high level, partly due to a ban on the sending of gambling, adult or pharmaceutical emails, even if it is a completely legitimate business. Take a look at the prohibited content here.

They all bought something at my eBay store.

NO!  This is a special case. Despite the fact that they are your clients, customers on eBay do not expect to get emails from people from whom they bought something. Your clients have provided you an email address solely for the purchase transaction.

Therefore, as long as your customers do not subscribe to receive mailings from you, their address cannot be used to send emails through our service.

They have registered on my site or the forum and agreed with the terms of the "Privacy Policy"/"Terms and Conditions".

MAYBE. That's good. But it's not exactly permission to send emails. If they mark cells about getting mailings from you – that’s another case! Although, if you hide a small printed agreement to receive emails in a huge text, it is an unconscious agreement. This isn’t counted!

Everyone knows that almost no one reads these documents, so place the subscription form in the appropriate place.

We are an employment agency and it's all our applicants and employers.

MAYBE. You can send letters only to your own customers, to the people who used the services of your agency. There is a significant difference between actual clients and potential candidates for the job.

You need to get a direct agreement from the candidate, either a clear verbal or electronic agreement.

They are members of my local business chamber/real estate organization/sports community

NO!  Even when the organization itself claims that all its members are allowed to send emails, it is not ok. Such permission is not counted as permission to send emails. Members’ email addresses cannot be used to send emails through our service.

If you talk individually with each member of the organization and they have agreed to receive your newsletter, then add them to your list. But we may require evidence of such a conversation or agreement to receive emails.

We conducted a competition/contest and it’s all of the participants.

MAYBE. Be careful! Lists of contestants often cause spam complaints. If people give you their email address just for the sake of winning, the only thing you can write to them about is the competition and its winners.

You have no right to send them emails with content on any other topic. The phrase, "I agree to receive your emails until the end of my life” hidden in the text is not considered as consent to receive your newsletters.

But, instead, if your newsletter offers the opportunity to win a prize - it is quite another thing! In this case, people know that they will receive mailings and will be expecting them.

I just opened a new company. I send emails to all customers of my previous company.

MAYBE.  In most cases, this is not ok. Permission is not permanent and is not adjusted. Those people gave you permission to send emails only from the company you worked for previously about their products and services. They did not sign up for the newsletter from other companies, even if you work in it.

These people communicated with me on my website.

NO!  Sending a question or comment is not subscription to your newsletters. Even if, "Send me more information" is written on your website, it does not mean that you can include these people in the mailing list. This means that you can only send them highly specialized information - information that they have requested.
 

As long as your form does not contain the paragraph, "I agree to receive newsletters," and the people choose it, you do not have permission to send them emails.

These are my friends/colleagues/family members.

MAYBE. That's fine, but it does not allow you to send them emails. In this case, ask the usual question: "Do you mind if I send you an email?" If you have received a positive response - feel free to add their address to the mailing list.
 

We know that they will most likely not mind even if you do not ask them, but this assumption is not an agreement, and accordingly you are not allowed to send emails.

These are all group members/followers/Facebook fans.

NO! This is an indicator of interest, 100%, but it is not a direct subscription. They may want to maintain some connection with you, but you cannot be sure that they will be happy to be on your mailing lists.


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