opt in email marketing vs forced email marketing

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Most companies now use some form of direct marketing to find new customers, and to keep in touch with existing customers. The advent of email revolutionized the direct marketing industry, making the process cheaper, more wide-reaching and in some circumstances more effective. Unfortunately all of the advantages of email marketing are also exploited by spammers.

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opt in email marketing vs forced email marketing

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Most companies now use some form of direct marketing to find new customers, and to keep in touch with existing customers. The advent of email revolutionized the direct marketing industry, making the process cheaper, more wide-reaching and in some circumstances more effective. Unfortunately all of the advantages of email marketing are also exploited by spammers.

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As a result we have witnessed an increasing volume of spam, which frustrates recipients and devalues the power of email marketing. To help control the increased use of email for direct marketing, and in part to deal with the risk of spam the EU issued in 2002 a directive on privacy and electronic communications.

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Save for some notable exceptions relating to existing customers, the Regulations provide that organisations cannot send unsolicited marketing communications by email to individual subscribers unless the recipient has given his prior consent.

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What is "confirmed opt-in" (COI)? 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.

Wingdings:

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 required by Spamhaus' users.

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For the user subscribing to a mailing list, COI is as simple as replying to an automated confirmation e-mail or clicking a link in an automated confirmation e-mail. In professional list management software, COI utilizes a unique token (sort of like a single-use password) passed from the list software to the would-be subscriber, and the subscriber returns the token to confirm their permission. Such "closed-loop confirmation" has been Best Current Practice in mailing list management software since about 1996. Software handles all the token transactions and maintains logs to document each and every subscription

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What is the right way to send bulk e-mail? This is intended only as a basic outline of what it takes to manage a legitimate bulk e-mail list. Seek expert advice from appropriate companies and consultants for a more complete understanding of the complicated issues of legitimate bulk e-mail. Remember, all bulk e-mail must be opt in, otherwise it is unsolicited. And Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE) is spam!

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1. Address acquisition Make sure it's Opt In. E-pending is not Opt In. If the recipient didn't ask for it in the first place, the rest of the list management processes are irrelevant. While various transactions and business relationships can infer permission, if there's any doubt, or for any on-going bulk e-mail relationship, closed-loop Confirmed Opt In (COI) is the gold standard for verifying permission, in use since about 1996.

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2. Truth in advertising State your policies and the nature of the bulk e-mail at the point of subscription. Tell the subscriber what to expect: how often, how big, what kind, what topics and content, etc. Don't hide information about the subscription on remote pages, behind hyperlinks, or buried in jargon, legalese, and obfuscation.

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3. Identify your company properly in the message itself and in Internet records. Use properly registered domains with working mail and web addresses. Every domain you use should identify your company and lead to a website identifying your company. Don't hide behind ever-changing mazes of domains

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4. Maintenance Keep your list current! Remove unsubscription requests and bounces promptly, as close to real-time as possible, no later than the same day. Mail the list at regular intervals. Unmailed lists provoke high complaint rates when they reactivate, even from truly opt-in addresses. Addresses "churn" over time, that is, they are abandoned or re-used.

What is "confirmed opt-in" (COI)?:

5. Bounce processing Respect what the recipient's server tells you. SMTP "5xy" codes mean "No!" Bouncing your mail off the filters but showing up in the logs, or resuming spamming after filter rules come down, is a sure-fire way to really annoy server operators and mailbox owners alike.

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6. Unsubscription must work! Promptly. And for all the bulk mail you're sending to that address. It must work via e-mail (include correct info in headers) and many subscribers also appreciate a web link included in message body

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7. Concurrency Respect the receiving server's SMTP dialogue. If it says pipelining allowed, give it what it wants. If it says "try again later" (4xy), don't despair, let your server queue the message and do what good servers are supposed to do. If it accepts a bit slowly, throttle back your server so as not to flood smaller sites. Opening up lots of threads to a slow server is an excellent way to get tarpitted and blocked.

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8. Seek expert advice! There are highly qualified delivery consultants and some who aren't so qualified; buyer beware. Ask your ISP for advice. Consider using a reputable E-mail Service Provider (ESP) to send your mail and manage your lists.

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A trust relationship between your organization and your current and future recipients is critical to permission-based email marketing. Recipients must trust you before they will give you access to their email address, and even more so after they give you access.

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Thanking you.... For more info log on to... http://deliver2inbox.com

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