Is it legal to bulk email to a group of people who haven't opted for receving email?

7 replies
a friend of mine have accidently got a list of 6000 emails and is wondering if he can use it for somehting. He have had the list for a few years now without doing anything as he is afraid it would be illegal to email them... considered as spam...

but from my view it is not illegal, we can for example broadcast an email to eveybody and ask them if they accept receving newsletter from us. They who decline we won't send email to anymore...

sounds ok?
#bulk #email #group #legal #opted #people #receving
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  • Profile picture of the author Jakub Lokša
    According to the Federal Trade Commission, it is legal.

    However, if you will have many opt-outs, bounces and spam reports (which you likely will), your website's domain's reputation might be damaged, so I won't recommend it.

    SendGrid shows your domain reputation, and for us, it decreased with just a few bounces. I wonder how much would it decrease if we had received spam reports.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marketing Miles
      Originally Posted by Jakub Lokša View Post

      According to the Federal Trade Commission, it is legal.

      However, if you will have many opt-outs, bounces and spam reports (which you likely will), your website's domain's reputation might be damaged, so I won't recommend it.

      SendGrid shows your domain reputation, and for us, it decreased with just a few bounces. I wonder how much would it decrease if we had received spam reports.
      Jakub put it well - it may not be illegal in the US, but it can be a great deal of trouble.

      The next question, of course, is how's your friend going to send the emails? I mean is he going to set up the email server himself or is he going to use the services of ESPs? If he's going to use an ESP (AWeber, Benchmark, ConstantContact, MailChimp etc), the ESP is going to get angry because these ESPs dislike purchased lists or lists acquired by methods other than opt-in.

      And in case he doesn't clean the list before sending emails, there are going to be a huge number of bounces, which will defeat the entire purpose. I recommend he clean the list before proceeding.
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      • Profile picture of the author loginname
        Originally Posted by Marketing Miles View Post

        Jakub put it well - it may not be illegal in the US, but it can be a great deal of trouble.

        The next question, of course, is how's your friend going to send the emails? I mean is he going to set up the email server himself or is he going to use the services of ESPs? If he's going to use an ESP (AWeber, Benchmark, ConstantContact, MailChimp etc), the ESP is going to get angry because these ESPs dislike purchased lists or lists acquired by methods other than opt-in.

        And in case he doesn't clean the list before sending emails, there are going to be a huge number of bounces, which will defeat the entire purpose. I recommend he clean the list before proceeding.

        Thank you, I'm checking out the link you sent me for cleaning email list
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  • Profile picture of the author loginname
    just adding that my friend is not a US citizen
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  • Profile picture of the author bryk
    Do use it for consent. But beware spam traps which can get your IP/domain id blocked for weeks.

    Also bear in mind that with time many legit email inboxes can bounce your messages (full inboxes, deleted corporate ids).
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  • It is legal to many countries including US as long as there is Unsubscribe option according to CAN-SPAM act. It is not legal for EU country emails according to the new GDPR.
    Also your idea is not bad to ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.
    In case you do option #1 you must be 100% sure they are gmails/yahoos/aols and any other US email providers.
    While option #2 is safer.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    It isn't illegal in some areas, provided that when the prospects turned you down, that's it.
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