Act of Spamming

The dictionary defines spamming as the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail - that is, email that was not asked for (unsolicited) and received by multiple recipients (bulk). A further common definition of spam restricts it to unsolicited commercial e-mail, a definition that does not consider non-commercial solicitations such as political or religious pitches, even if unsolicited, as spam.

Spammers have developed a variety of spamming techniques, which vary by media: e-mail spam, instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, and mobile phone messaging spam.

The CAN-SPAM Act (enacted in 2003) applies to essentially all businesses in the US that use e-mail. It defines a "commercial electronic mail message" -- which is regulated by this law -- as any e-mail message "the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose)" The penalties for blatant spamming can be severe.

To comply with the anti-spamming law make sure your unsubscribe system works. Better yet, allow people to select what kinds of messages they wish to receive from you. That way you may keep some people that would opt-out entirely if they didn't have a choice. Use a confirmed or double opt-in system. It is the only way you'll be able to prove that people gave express consent to receive your e-mail. Yes, you may lose 30% of your new subscribers who never confirm. But they weren't likely to be good customers anyway. Bite the bullet and institute a confirmed opt-in system so you'll be ahead of the curve. Be honest in they way you obtain e-mail addresses and in your e-mail promotions. Honesty is just good business, of course, since it shows respect for the customer. Business is all about meeting customer needs -- not tricking them!

Act of Spamming



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