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Sending Emails

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by MarkStrobel3367, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. #1
    According to the Can Spam Act of 2003 in the USA, is it illegal to send unsolicited emails to a manually harvested email list? Thanks.
    SEMrush
     
    MarkStrobel3367, Jan 24, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #2
    If they haven't opted in you can't use that list

    It doesn't matter how you "harvest" that list - you can't use it.
     
    sarahk, Jan 24, 2019 IP
  3. allout

    allout Prominent Member

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    #3
    It is not totally black and white. Before going deeper, I want to state I would not use it.

    The law states as long as you identify the email as an ad, you can send it even if they did not opt-in. However, if they opt-out, you can no longer send them emails. The difficulty is, you may have some on the list that have opted out of receiving emails from you or your company.

    Even worse than the possible legality issue is the issue of reputation. Taking short cuts may make you a little money but in the end you lose by becoming someone that people do not trust or want to do business with.
     
    allout, Jan 24, 2019 IP
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  4. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #4
    In NZ we have privacy laws that state that once a relationship with a customer is "stale" you can no longer contact them and need to remove their records from your database
    Which completely ignores the fact that when you buy a new list, run an "invite a friend" promotion etc you then can't see that they're stale or have opted out.

    So in @allout's example you need to be cross-referencing your new email list with any existing company records you have to ensure that you honour any opt-outs you may already have. I'm not sure if that is written into law but it's definitely "best practice"
     
    sarahk, Jan 24, 2019 IP
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  5. MarkStrobel3367

    MarkStrobel3367 Active Member

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    #5
    Thank you all for your responses. Interestingly, I cannot find any legal documents that specifically state that it is illegal in the USA to harvest emails and send unsolicited emails to those addresses until of course the receiver opts out. The Can Spam Act can be found here. Harvesting emails is only mentioned twice within this 22 page law. When it is mentioned, it is in relation to a aggravated factor/sentencing enhancement once one is convicted of breaking the Can Spam law (the use of deceptive email practices). It doesn't appear to be a standalone law. I could have misread the document but I read it several times drawing the same conclusion.

    To my knowledge, the Can Spam Act is an opt out law where I believe that Europe and Canada have opt in laws. I thought this loophole was kind of strange when I caught it. If I misread the law, please let me know. Thanks.

    The Can Spam Act can be found here: https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/2007/11/canspam.pdf. Apparently, the hyperlink didn't take in my previous post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2019
    MarkStrobel3367, Jan 24, 2019 IP
  6. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #6
    One of the interesting points for international marketers that I haven't spent any time on is which laws apply when the sender, sender's server, and recipient are in different countries - all of them?
     
    sarahk, Jan 24, 2019 IP
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  7. MarkStrobel3367

    MarkStrobel3367 Active Member

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    #7
    This would definitely give me a headache!
     
    MarkStrobel3367, Jan 24, 2019 IP
  8. allout

    allout Prominent Member

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    #8
    What is your purpose? Are you looking for a one time blast with hope of a sale or are you looking for possible long term business? Legal or not legal, it is not a good practice for a business who is in it for the long haul. Not to mention turning off the customers, you can end up being flagged as a spammer on many major email servers. In any business, ethics is everything.
     
    allout, Jan 24, 2019 IP
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  9. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #9
    I don't think that there is specifically a law against it in the US. The thing is if you use an established autoresponder (Aweber, Mailchimp, Get Response, etc.) your account will be shut down quickly for trying this.

    I cannot think of any scenario where mailing to a scraped list is worth my reputation.
     
    JoeSpirit, Jan 26, 2019 IP
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  10. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #10
    So, in my "day job" I am the VP of Marketing for a good-sized company in the U.S. Therefore, my budget and I am an attractive prospect for a wide range of vendors. I get calls, emails, linkedin invites, etc., all day long from vendors wanting to engage with me. Note that I will NEVER consider a vendor that spams me. It is a strong message, in my opinion, that the sender is shady and lacks integrity. Not the type of vendor I want to spend money with.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 12, 2019 IP
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  11. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #11
    I'm sure that in your marketing position you have a gatekeeper. Do you have a specified criteria to distinguish the spammers from legitimate sales calls? Do you only accept calls from invited vendors and never take cold calls?

    I know calls are different from emails but I'm curious as to how you do this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    JoeSpirit, Feb 12, 2019 IP
  12. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #12
    Who responds to / acts upon an unsolicited email?
     
    qwikad.com, Feb 12, 2019 IP
  13. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #13
    Gatekeepers have gone the way of the dinosaur in many high tech companies. We have a receptionist function that answers general calls but they tend to put people right through to me as they do for all callers. So, I end up taking cold calls fairly regularly, though I could have those calls directed to someone on my marketing staff, I suppose. If it is a low quality call (poor script, foreign accent that is too hard to understand, etc.) I tend to end it quickly. If it is an interesting pitch and might be of interest, I will engage a bit.

    Above, I was talking about spam emails which I have no tolerance for because the same email can be sent to thousands of prospects at the same time with little concern about whether or not I am a correct target (they are often sending to a generalized sales@ or marketing@ email address which I am copied on.) At least the callers had to target me and the company and may, in fact, have actually done a little research on my company so as not to be wasting their calling time.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 12, 2019 IP
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  14. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #14
    You can manoeuver around the spam act if you are clear that it is a solicitation and properly identify yourself. Also provide opt-out information and never contact anyone more than once.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Feb 12, 2019 IP
  15. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #15
    You know, 20 years ago or so, a thread on a marketing forum (which was an email newslist) was started and the question was whether anyone was making money from spamming (yup, even back then it was a hot topic.) A couple of hotshot marketing researchers did some actual work on this and the conclusion was that the only people who were possibly making money from spamming were the people who were selling spam technology and spam lists to those "marketers" who thought that they were going to make money by spamming people. The would-be spammers were the only people spending money on this effort and they made zero sales from their efforts.

    Of course, that "study" dealt with spammers who were actually trying to sell a product or service. We know from security reports that people do get malware infections from opening spam emails, clicking on links, etc., so that type of spam has a certain percentage of success.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 12, 2019 IP
  16. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #16
    I've thought the same about those windows support phone calls - it's the guys selling the get rich quick ideas that are cashing in.
     
    sarahk, Feb 12, 2019 IP
  17. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #17
    Yes, I understood this was in reference to email. I just had a point of curiosity about sales calls considering your position. It's been a long time since I studied sales techniques in the offline arena.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 13, 2019 IP
  18. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #18
    I may not be a good data point because my position and my philosophy about cold calls may be a bit unusual. In addition to leading Global Marketing, I also lead Global Channel Sales and International Direct Sales. So, I have one foot in marketing management and one foot in sales management. And, I accept most sales cold calls not just in case they have a solution that i am interested in as a marketer but also to hear the pitch (what's the latest greatest sales approach, etc.) as a sales manager. These days, multitouch campaigns seem to be the "newest things" in which cold callers try to engage with me via phone, email, and, sometimes, linkedin simultaneously. A couple of the more "wealthy" vendors have also hit me with a snail mail piece, though the timing on that is not so coordinated as the other media due to USPS or UPS varying delivery schedules.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 13, 2019 IP
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  19. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #19
    Actually what you say about campaigns is interesting to me. The multitouch concept is something I hadn't picked up on but your mention of it gets me to thinking about the ways I get contacted these days. Thank you for that.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 14, 2019 IP
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  20. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #20
    I have tried a few multi-touch campaigns to generate leads for the sales teams. They involved some combination of email, telemarketing, and snail mail. It definitely increased our conversion rate, though adding snail mail really increased the costs of the effort. My direct marketing agency/mailing house indicated that many of their clients are doing the same these days and it has been pretty successful. Your Miileage May Vary, of course. :)
     
    jrbiz, Feb 14, 2019 IP
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