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Spam Laws: What is a “confirmed opt-in”?

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spamYou have a list of thousands of names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. You got the list during one promotion and now you’re doing a new promotion. Can you use that same list and tell everyone about the new event or sale?

The laws on bulk email, spam and privacy are getting more and more complicated as technology becomes more advanced. Let’s look a one method that can help protect your company, should anyone every try to go after you.

Confirmed Opt-In

According to SPAMHAUS:

Confirmed opt-in (COI) is a process by which a mailing list owner verifies that an opt-in request did in fact come from the owner of the email address and was therefore not spoofed, forged, typo’d or otherwise fraudulently subscribed. The essence of COI is that the subscriber MUST respond affirmatively to the initial message sent to their e-mail address or else they are NOT added to the list. COI ensures that all addresses are added to the list legitimately and only with the owner’s permission. Note that simply sending a “welcome” message where the e-mail address owner is subscribed unless they take specific action in order to stop the mail is a form of “opt out” and does not fulfill the “opt in” standard. Note that simply sending a “welcome” message where the e-mail address owner is subscribed unless they take specific action in order to stop the mail is a form of “opt out” and does not fulfill the “opt in” standard required.

The Spamhaus website offers all kinds of great insight, tips and clarification of the laws and I highly recommend you click over and view them. In addition, put this site on your favorite’s list for future reference. It only takes one innocent mistake to cost your company tens of thousands of dollars. Some great topics click-through directly to their site:

What is “confirmed opt-in” (COI)?
What is the right way to send bulk e-mail?
What about Email Addresses lists?
What about mailing our company’s customer list?
What about E-pending (Email-appending)?
How should we handle unsubscribe and suppression lists?
What is Listwashing?
What is “double opt-in”?
If the recipient is given the choice to opt-out or remove, is it still spam?
Spam is no worse than postal junk mail, is it?
But the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) says spamming is okay?
Any Important Documents for Email Marketing Firms to read?

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