Questionable list building?

by pmgguy 15 replies
In a recent discussion of a couple of newbies (me and a buddy) the practice of list building came up.

My buddy thought it was acceptable to add to a list any person that has sent him an email, been included on an email sent to him, etc.

I am not sure of the value of these types of list, much less the ethical or proper tactic of doing so. He claims as long as an opt out is included it is not spam.

He wants to include emails from people that buy stuff (not related to his IM biz) on craigslist, etc.

What is the point? Is this as unethical as I claimed?

C'mon fellow warriors, settle this dispute for me!
#main internet marketing discussion forum #building #list #questionable
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  • Profile picture of the author hbsjcd3
    Originally Posted by pmgguy View Post

    In a recent discussion of a couple of newbies (me and a buddy) the practice of list building came up.

    My buddy thought it was acceptable to add to a list any person that has sent him an email, been included on an email sent to him, etc.

    I am not sure of the value of these types of list, much less the ethical or proper tactic of doing so. He claims as long as an opt out is included it is not spam.

    He wants to include emails from people that buy stuff (not related to his IM biz) on craigslist, etc.

    What is the point? Is this as unethical as I claimed?

    C'mon fellow warriors, settle this dispute for me!
    Not unethical

    Just make sure to give the each person the option to Opt-OUT on the bottom of the email.

    Then for each name email that Opts-out, put in a speadsheet as your suppression file. That way you never email that person again and they don't complain to your ISP or worse, to your affiliate program.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Originally Posted by pmgguy View Post

    In a recent discussion of a couple of newbies (me and a buddy) the practice of list building came up.

    My buddy thought it was acceptable to add to a list any person that has sent him an email, been included on an email sent to him, etc.

    I am not sure of the value of these types of list, much less the ethical or proper tactic of doing so. He claims as long as an opt out is included it is not spam.

    He wants to include emails from people that buy stuff (not related to his IM biz) on craigslist, etc.

    What is the point? Is this as unethical as I claimed?

    C'mon fellow warriors, settle this dispute for me!
    DO NOT add e-mails to your list like that...

    The only people who should be on any of your lists, are those that have expressed their interest and taken the action to subscriber by themselves.. manually adding e-mail from personal mail is wrong. You cannot just add it to your list and include an opt-out...

    they must opt-in themselves for it to be legal..

    Peace

    Jay

    p.s. Did I mention they must opt-in themselves?
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    Bare Murkage.........

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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    I would dare to suggest if you have a email correspondence with people on emails going back and forth, strike up a conversation with them to entice them to signup on one of your squeeze pages, but only do this if you have permission to contact them

    Ed
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Montgomery
    I wouldn't do it and I market on the edge sometimes.

    If nothing else it's a recipe to get complaints for spam.

    I wouldn't want people to do it with me.

    mx
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Kenzington
    Hey PmgGuy,

    Listen to Jay & Mike X. They are telling you straight! Don't do that. The spam complaints WILL come. And, if your domain name is through someone like GoDaddy, they will take your domain away from you.

    I have an e-mail account that I reserve for my PayPal purchases. I've bought several items in the last 3 weeks, so I can't be sure who did this, but someone sold my name and e-mail address, because I have suddenly been hit with spam from hell! Multiple companies offering me the latest/greatest IM get rich tricks available.

    I'd like to know who the Jackass was that did that! I hate spam and so will the people who start getting your friend's mailings.

    If he won't listen to you, then do be ready to say "I told you so". (People hate that almost as much as receiving the Spam ).

    Take care,

    Adam
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    • Profile picture of the author pmgguy
      Thank you!

      I feel the same as the majority of replies here.

      I would not want the aggravation or junk flying at me any more than it already is!

      Wooo Hooo, I win this battle!!!

      Thanks Warriors....
      Signature
      Growing my business... by growing yours.


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  • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
    Ethical or not, it's a sure-fire recipe for getting spam complaints.

    And in the world of email marketing, when it comes to spam, you are guilty until proven innocent. Just ask AOHell. They make it so easy to cry "spam" it's just ridiculous.

    Your friend is asking to get nailed with spam complaints.
    Signature

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    Brian Rooney
    TrafficWave.net Email Marketing AutoResponders
    Email Marketing Blog

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  • Profile picture of the author SeanSupplee
    Email the people on your currently list about your "new" list and what you will be offering on this list. DO NOT just force them into a list in which they did not sign up for. You are going to both confuse your current list and making them no longer trust you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Is it illegal? not in the US... as your buddy said, as long as the recipient can opt-out, and the headers are not faked, it is can-spam compliant.

    Is it asking for trouble?? oh yeah.. if people complain, the ISP's, web hosts and blacklists could care less if the email was can-spam compliant.

    It would be pointless anyway, as such a list would be worthless for marketing purposes.
    Signature

    -Jason

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  • Profile picture of the author SeanSupplee
    It is illegal you are sending people information they did not request. Right there SPAM. Or everyone under their mother would add email after email but if its CAN- SPAM compliant its ok? lol I don't think so
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  • Profile picture of the author staxx
    Not a good habit to get into. besides the spam problems if someone didn't opt into your list you don't want them don't need them. They are most likely not going to be a buyer if they are not an opt in.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      pmgguy,

      First, there is no law against spamming in the US. If your buddy lives in the US, that's not the issue.

      There are contractual issues. I can tell you with a very high degree of confidence that the majority of ISPs and web hosts will consider that spam.

      Make sure your friend understands that it doesn't matter what he, you, or any random stranger on this forum thinks is spam or not. The people who can cut his service off immediately will almost certainly consider it spam.

      The traditional definition of spam, as it relates to email, is unsolicited bulk email. Take it from someone who's been involved in the issue since before the advent of the commercial Internet. No responsible systems administrator is going to consider what your friend is pursuing to be anything but UBE.

      As has been pointed out by a number of people here, your friend will get complaints. And when someone feels their trust has been violated, they tend to push those complaints harder than for some nitwit in Russia pushing blue pills or fake watches.

      As far as all the comments about "the law," ignore them. I've read the CAN-SPAM act itself numerous times. I've read most (if not all) of the FTC rules regarding enforcement of the Act. I've discussed it at length with people who have to work with it every single day. I don't consider myself qualified to make most of the kind of flat out pronouncements that you'll see the clueless and uninformed tossing around in forums.

      I do know enough to say that sending spam from one US email address to another is not, BY ITSELF, illegal. CAN-SPAM compliance is much trickier than what has been discussed here. And, despite what some people will tell you, there is nothing in CAN-SPAM that keeps service providers from taking action against those who violate their terms of service.

      In fact, they are specifically protected from prosecution or damage awards for the results of good faith efforts to prevent the delivery of spam and other mail they deem to be objectionable.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author gerrihabib
    Would agree with other posters on this, you always need and want the consent of people opting in to your source list as its unethical without approval. Think of it, if you started to receive a barrage of emails from the same source week after week, do you think you would be receptive to buying a product from this person? A good thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Paul, I agree with most of your post.. except I really don't think can-spam is so cryptic.

    It's been a year since I last read it (and yes, I have had lawyer look it over as well - it's handy having one in the family ), but most scenarios I can think of that would fall into a gray area involve guestionable tactics to begin with. Except for the whole 'physical address' thing - I can understand why people who work from home would not want to list their home address and would rather use a mail service / box!

    But, as you said - it doesn't matter if it isn't illegal.. your service providers will shut you down real quick if they don't like what you are doing. I did not mean to imply that they were wrong in doing so..
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    -Jason

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