Communicating creatively in print and online
Are You Adding People to Your E-mail
List Without Their Permission?
One complaint can get your email system - and your entire Internet Service Provider - blocked
Getting closed down for Spam is the Internet equivalent of a felony, yet many of us who meet at networking and professional meetings continue to add each other to our "mailing lists" without specifically being asked to do so and without confirmation.
Spam laws effective in January 2004 prohibit the sending of commercial messages (and unsolicited messages with marketing content) through email without the recipient having specifically requested to receive such information. The process now used to avoid being reported as a Spammer is the "double opt in" procedure. Most companies that publish an email newsletter or announcement, for example, work with a third party service (such as EZezine.com or ConstantContact.com) that automates the process. Your subscriber visits a signup page on your website or newsletter (such as the one we use at the bottom of this page). They use a form to subscribe or unsubscribe. When they subscribe, they receive an email requesting them to click on a link to confirm that it was really them that signed up.
Even if your messages are not "commercial" in nature, if you regularly email to people who did not subscribe themselves, you could be reported to any of several Spam policing agencies. If that happens, not only could your own email service be shut down, but the email server of the company hosting your email (Earthlink, AOL, Cox, Wordpix, etc.) could be shut down. And once you're shut down, it's a long uphill climb to getting service again. You're on the list and no one wants to provide your email service.
Spam is such a HUGE problem these days. Hence, the new laws. You are probably receiving newsletters from people you met at events who assumed, because you handed them your business card, that you wanted to be on their mailing lists. Let them know immediately if you choose not to be included in their mailings.
For a really great article about Spam - including what really is Spam and what is not - visit: http://mcssl.com/userguide/avoidSpam.asp , written for users of 1ShoppingCart services and others.
Permission to reprint this article is granted if attribution is included as follows or similar:
Copyright Wordpix Solutions and author Peggi Ridgway,
©Copyright Wordpix Solutions