You’ve probably been a recipient (and hopefully you’re not a sender) of an innocently intended, yet still violating, spam email. Here’s a scenario:
At a networking event or coffee table meeting, you meet someone and exchange business cards. A few days later, in the email you receive … their weekly newsletter?
The definition of spam (here’s a simple definition), as it pertains to email, is Unsolicited AND Bulk Email.
By my understanding, if the fish bowl on your counter is for a give-away AND their name will go on your emailing list, you better spell it out on display. This allows people to “opt-in” to your mailing list. With each piece of mail you send in bulk, also give the recipient an opportunity to unsubscribe.
If you’re still sending BCC bulk emails, stop … after one more. The next (and last) one should be after you open a MailChimp account. After you set that up, send one more email to your BCC list simply offering a link to go opt-in to the new list.
If your list is under 2,000 addresses, MailChimp is free. Setting up lists, composing email, and opt-in options are pretty easy to setup. The analytics are telling. Their support is fantastic. You can even upload an ebook as a gift to subscribers – MailChimp sends that automatically with an auto-responder.
Always offer an opt-in to your potential subscribers. Whether it’s a form on your site, a sign at your trade show table, or a question at the front counter. MailChimp gives you a space to remind folks where they probably opted-in at the bottom of your emails.
A few more resources to check out:
- What is CAN-SPAM? (FAQs) via HubSpot
- Email Privacy and CAN-SPAM Laws to be Aware Of via Comm100
- Spamhaus Project FAQs
As noted above, MailChimp has an in-depth knowledge base to find answers to most of your questions. We can also offer an email set-up as one of our basic tracks.