As a start-up and business owner, I deal with a lot of emails, so one of the things that I can’t stand is people wasting my time with emails that I haven’t chosen to receive. As a VC said in the valley, time is the most precious resource we all have, and it’s important to do our work in the most efficient way, but this isn’t made easy by spammers and people who don’t generally understand what you can and can’t do with email marketing.
Let me make it clear for you in this blog post, so that you can stop wasting my time and other people’s time, and avoid any penalties because I can assure you that all spam email that comes to me, get’s reported.
So firstly the definition of spam email is email that is unsolicited and bulk in nature.
What unsolicited means, is simply that I did not opt-in or choose to receive that email. So this means if I hand you a business card at some networking event, that does not give you permission to put me on your mailing list. That is spam. You must legitimately ask me via some online process, whether or not I want to receive your email and if I answer yes, then you do have permission to email me.
Let’s define bulk.
Bulk email is any email in nature that is obviously sent to more than one person at a time. This means most newsletters, mail blasts and other such broadcasted emails are considered to be bulk.
So a word of warning to those of you sending bulk email from you own email service provider. If you get just a few reported spam incidents, your ISP has the capability to stop you from emailing all together. That’s why I always recommend using a mail management tool like Aweber.
Basically it comes down to permission. If you’ve not got permission to email someone with bulk emails, DON’T DO IT.
For those of you who are just as fed up as me, here is what you do:
- unsubscribe from their email list – if this is an option
- if there is no option to unsubscribe, or if you’ve unsubscribed and they keep sending emails, then move onto reporting them.
How to report their spam email is basically to submit their details to these authorities:
- Spamcop – one of the oldest spam authorities – http://www.spamcop.net
- London Action Plan – http://londonactionplan.org/
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) run by the FBI and NW3C – http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
- The Better Business Bureau – http://www.bbb.org/
- Federal Trade Commission or Trade Commissions in your country
- Australian Government – http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_310300
- US Department of Justice – http://www.justice.gov/spam.htm
So don’t be a bad business owner, be a considerate and responsible one.