How to Avoid Sending Spam

If you run an internet mailing list, e-zine, or any other type of email advertising and promotion, this is what you need to know in order to avoid being accused of sending spam.

First, consult our Spam Policy and Penalty for information about your rights and the agreements accepted in using our service.

[More information about how your email can be mistaken for spam]


What Not To Do:

  • Do not purchase email lists or so-called opt-in lists from companies claiming to have "thousands of legitimate email addresses". Most of these companies do not bother to check whether the addresses on their lists are valid and hardly ever ask for consent from their recipients. You will end up sending your mail to unwilling recipients and will be accused of spamming.
  • Do not send unsolicited emails with an "opt-out" option and expect this to legitimize your email. Users should not have to go through the trouble of opting out of a mailing list that they did not sign up for in the first place. Many internet users will also ignore the "opt-out" instructions because spammers use these to validate the email addresses in their lists.
  • Do not request a receipt of delivery for your mailing list. Many users consider this an invasion of privacy, and spammers also use this ploy for email verification.
  • Do not use any spamming or harvesting software. This includes automated email programs, email address guessing and verification programs, webpage spiders, Usenet harvesters, or any other unsolicited email software. The use of these devices is universally attributed to spammers.
  • Do not send numerous identical messages. If you are sending out multiple emails, attempt to personalize the subject and body of the messages so they are not completely general. Messages that appear "canned" are often considered spam.

[More information on what not to do]


What you Should Do:

  • Always DOUBLE VERIFY every email address in your list. This means that upon receiving an email address from an online form, or by any other means, you should send a brief confirmation email stating that their email address was submitted, and asking them to confirm their registration in your mailing list.
  • Keep track of where you receive every email address on your list. This way, if there is ever a dispute or complaint, you can provide your members with a complete history of their subscription. When you keep track of where each email address came from, you can identify where the "dirty" source was, and cease to use it.
  • Keep your mailing list up to date. Make requested contact changes promptly, and do requested removals immediately.
  • Place a subscription form on your website and other company documents. This method will most likely produce a large percentage of usable, and receptive email addresses.
  • Personalize the subject and body of your emails. Although this may take more time, it adds a level of credibility and professionalizm that will set you apart from spammers.
  • State your terms clearly and stick to them. If you are going to send out an email every week, make sure that your recipients are aware of this, and do not send out any more than that. If you are going to be sending email about one specific topic, stick to this topic and do not send out unrelated material without prior permission.

[More Information on what you should do]