What is considered permission to send emails?

There is a difference between a mailing list and permission to send emails to it. By using our service, you agree to follow the antispam policy. If you cannot prove that you have the recipient’s permission — you are sending spam! Our service is based on the rule that sending emails without recipients' approval is prohibited.

So what can be considered as permission to send email campaigns?

The primary purpose of the text below is to explain what is considered permission to send emails based on the most popular methods of collecting email addresses:

I bought/rented a 100% subscription base from a seller with a good reputation

NO! It does not matter what a seller claims; you may not use a list obtained from third parties. There is no acceptable time when you can use such a list, even if you paid for it. It can not be considered as permission for sending campaigns.

A purchased list will always be a purchased list.

They all subscribed at my shop/online shop

YES! Ideal! This is explicit permission. But make sure you only send subscribers the information that you promised; send the first email immediately, not months after the subscription, and send emails with a periodicity of more than once a few months.

Also, remember that there is a big difference between the purchase of your product and permission for sending an email campaign. Until you have received the consent, you have no right to send emails.

People tend to forget about where and what they signed up to receive from you. That is why it is essential to send your recipients exciting content and do it regularly.

We were sponsors at an exhibition, and we’ve got a list of participants

NO! This is a common mistake. It is not clear whether the participants want to receive your emails, and you have not received direct permission to send them emails.

Exhibition list participants are not a legal mailing list, even if the organizers are telling you otherwise.

We were sponsors at an exhibition and people subscribed to our email campaigns at our stand

YES! Much better! These people know who you are, and they expressed their interest in receiving emails from you.

Do not wait too long after the event to send the subscribers an email, and remember to mention their visit to your stand in the first email.

This list is a few years old. All the people on the list subscribed through my website/stand/shop

MAYBE. If you have not sent emails to these people in the last year, most likely, they have forgotten about you and are not interested in your information anymore. 

If it has been from 6 months to a year since you sent the last campaign to this list, start with a reminder email with a suggestion to unsubscribe if they are no longer interested in information from you.

These customers made a purchase in my store/on my website

MAYBE. This is a good start. If these are existing clients or customers who have made purchases recently (during the last two years), continue building relationships.

If it has been more than two years and you did not send emails to them regularly, it won't work. Permission does not last forever — use it or lose it.

These are my clients from my poker/adult/pharmaceutical site

NO! Unfortunately, you cannot send emails through our service. Our reputation and deliverability of emails are kept at a high level, partly due to a ban on the sending of gambling, adult, or pharmaceutical emails, even if it is an entirely legitimate business. Take a look at the prohibited content here.

They all bought something at my eBay store

NO!  This is a particular case. Although they are your clients, customers on eBay do not expect to get emails from people from whom they bought something. Your clients have provided you with email addresses solely for purchase transactions.

Therefore, as long as your customers do not subscribe to receive emails from you, their addresses cannot be used to send emails through our service.

They have registered on my site or forum and agreed with the terms of "Privacy Policy" or "Terms and Conditions."

MAYBE. That's a good start, but it's not precisely permission to send emails. It is permission if they select checkboxes agreeing to receive emails from you. Although, if you hide a small printed agreement to receive emails in a large text, it is an unconscious agreement.

Everyone knows that almost no one reads these documents, so place the subscription form in the appropriate place.

We are an employment agency, and it's all our applicants and employers

MAYBE. You can send emails only to your customers who use the services of your agency. There is a significant difference between actual clients and potential candidates for the job.

You need to get a direct agreement from a candidate, either verbal or electronic.

They are members of my local business chamber/real estate organization/sports community

NO!  Even when the organization itself claims that all its members are allowed to send emails, it is not ok. This "permission" is not considered permission to send emails. Members' email addresses cannot be used to send emails through our service.

If you talk individually with each member of the organization and they agree to receive your campaigns, then add them to your list. But we may require evidence of such a conversation or agreement to receive emails.

We held a competition/contest, and these are the participants

MAYBE. Be careful! Lists of contestants often cause spam complaints. If people give you their email addresses just for the sake of winning, the only thing you should email them about is the competition and its winners.

You have no right to send them emails with any other content. The phrase, "I agree to receive your emails until the end of my life" hidden in the text is not considered as consent to receive your campaigns.

But if your campaign offers an opportunity to win a prize, it is quite another thing! In this case, people know that they will receive campaigns and will be expecting it.

I just opened a new company. I send emails to all of my customers from my previous company

MAYBE.  In most cases, this is not ok. Permission is not permanent and is not adjusted. Those people permitted you to send emails only from the company you worked for previously, about their products and services. They did not sign up for campaigns from another company, even if you work in it.

These people communicated with me on my website

NO!  Sending a question or comment is not a subscription to your campaigns. Even if "Send me more information" is written on your website, it does not mean that you can include these people in a mailing list. This means that you can only send them highly specific information that they have requested.

Unless your form contains the paragraph "I agree to receive email campaigns," you do not have permission to send them emails.

These are my friends/colleagues/family members

MAYBE. That's fine, but it does not allow you to send them emails. In this case, ask the usual question: "Do you mind if I send you an email?" If you have received a positive response, feel free to add their addresses to a mailing list.

We know that they will most likely not mind even if you do not ask them, but this is an assumption, not an agreement, and accordingly, you are not allowed to send them emails.

These are all group members/followers/Facebook fans

NO! This is an indicator of interest 100%, but it is not a direct subscription. They may want to maintain some connection with you, but you cannot be sure that they will be happy to be on your mailing lists.

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