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Those Spammers Keep Getting More Clever

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We were stunned when we came across an article by Internet Evolution, suggesting email marketers use Paypal’s batch payment function to send mass emails to non-opted-in recipients, with a payment incentive to open the email. The article even states directly, “The sender can simply upload a list of targeted but unknown email addresses and give each a 1 cent payment.”

About the only thing we agree with in this article is when the author states, “Yes, this is one of those schemes that borders on being labeled spam.” Scratch that, we disagree because this *is* spam. It serves as a good reminder, though, to closely examine your current opt-in policy and ensure that you are following best practices when managing your email lists. We want to share an important note directly from our email deliverability handbook, about the importance of confirmed and double opt-ins:

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“A continuing challenge for email marketers is mailing list management. Even with an opt-in system, it still requires ongoing effort to ensure that a mailing list meets all legal standards to avoid being tagged as a spammer. There is some debate within the email marketing industry about the advantages and disadvantages of using only confirmed or double opt-in lists, and a consensus on the best list management practice has yet to emerge. However there is no question in the email receiving industry – including ISPs and spam filters – that confirmed or double opt-in is the way to go, and most email senders of any size appear headed in that direction. Even if they don’t feel the need from a list-building perspective, using confirmed opt-in is the best protection against a spam accusation, as you can readily prove that the recipient affirmatively asked to receive the email.”

This is an important practice to consider, if you are not already employing it, because as more unscrupulous email marketers employ devious practices, such as hiding behind Paypal, to sneak into the inboxes of unwilling recipients, more email recipients are going to be guarded with how they use their email addresses. A company who respects their inbox, will likelier be allowed inside their inbox.

For the full Internet Evolution article, read here:

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This article originally written on September 21, 2012, and is as relevant now as when it was first written.