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CAN-SPAM compliance for random email lists

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by steelmagnum, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    Hi guys. Long story short, I got my hands on about 1.5 million emails. They are all random, but I am pretty sure that they are mostly US emails.

    I only intend on sending a few emails to this list (probably 2 different ones with 2 follow up emails for each different email). I also intend on making the solicitation very clear to the recipients, including an easy opt out option. I don't plan on misleading anyone for the service.

    Am I missing something, or can I go ahead and send emails to the random email list?
     
  2. albaniax

    albaniax Elite Member

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    Thing is, if there's a honeypot, or someone complaints about your emails, you are busted!
    They HAVE to (double) opt-in, before you can sent them an email at all.

    You have to risk it or better go the complete black hat route, so you also need fake accounts and an anonymous bank account, to cash out.
     
  3. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    oh man, that isn't good news. im trying to build out a brand name, and i want to market it as aggressively as possible. fake emails and random bank accounts wont do me any good, because theyll still know my domain, which is my brand.

    is there any way to check if an email address is double opted-in? also, wouldnt this condition render email list trading/buying illegal?
     
  4. wowhaxor

    wowhaxor Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Ya,

    If its not your list you're already not CAN SPAM compliant as they have to opt in to you to begin with. You can do it the BH way but you have to cover your tracks. Or, you could get lucky and nobody complains and your list is nice and clean, as mentioned no honeypot addys.
     
  5. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    Ok, all this makes sense. But seriously, how is it legal to buy/sell or trade email lists? That implies that the email owners subscribed to newsletter X, but not newsletter Y, which just purchase X's email list.
     
  6. lanbo

    lanbo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Be careful as there are heavy consequences..
     
  7. Web Echo

    Web Echo Regular Member

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    Don't do it. Don't put yourself in trouble. It is not worth.
     
  8. loboxd

    loboxd Regular Member

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    fuck the haters! do it! if anything your host will get in contact with you and tell you to stop. Once thats done, stop! lolol
     
  9. ppenguin77

    ppenguin77 BANNED BANNED

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    Not sure what others thoughts are but I always just started with a random email to "clean" the list.
    Something like

    Hey we are going to be in your area next week and would like to meet for dinner.
    Maybe around 7P?

    If they complain with this then don't bother anymore because it's so generic I found
    it also helps me know what address's are deliverable.

    Thoughts ?
     
  10. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    The concept intrigues me, but there's no way I'd be able to sift through thousands of emails to see if any are complaints.

    Maybe send the list an email that's like:

    Please reply to be removed from this email list which is used to distribute online services.

    something like that that makes it clear that they will be solicited in the near future unless they opt out.

    is this a good idea?
     
  11. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    I wonder how many people have actually went and actually read the CAN SPAM act? My guess is no one here who has posted in this thread. Go read it for yourself so you are informed. You absolutely can send emails to any list, as long as you are compliant with the requirements.

    You do not have to have opt-in, you can use someone else's list, you don't have to worry about honeypots. Although they should be avoided so your IP doesn't get blacklisted.

    The amount of misinformation running around regarding email marketing appalls me. People speak from what they've read on some blog, or heard from someone 2nd hand.

    If you have a question about something, just go find out yourself.
     
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  12. Bloodhat

    Bloodhat Junior Member

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    From previous jobs' experience there will be complaints no matter what. There would always be a few dicks to make a lot of stink, even if you're completely legit. Never really seen any serious consequences tho, de-blacklisting was one of the common tasks our IT dept had to deal with after pretty much every large blast. Email lists get sold all the time, you open up an account, post somewhere, and in two days max you start getting spam, sometimes from big name sources. They don't seem too worried about compliance.
     
  13. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    Here's the list of guidelines: EDIT: can't paste URLs, its from the FTC, copy-pasted below

    this leads me to believe i can send an email to whomever as long as my intentions are clear and also have an easy opt out option. i only made this thread because people kept telling me that it would be illegal anyway.

    for reference:


    1. Don't use false or misleading header information. Your "From," "To," "Reply-To," and routing information - including the originating domain name and email address - must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
    2. Don't use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
    3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
    4. Tell recipients where you're located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you've registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you've registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
    5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that's easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn't block these opt-out requests.
    6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient's opt-out request within 10 business days. You can't charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don't want to receive more messages from you, you can't sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you've hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
    7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can't contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
     
  14. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    bump please, anyone with definitive knowledge? I have a feeling it is fine based on the above rules
     
  15. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    People pay good money for email services to avoid running afoul of CAN SPAM. You don't have enough knowledge to run a 1.5 million list yourself. The list needs to be scrubbed and if you do run your IPS will be blocked within minutes not hours as you send out the list. If you are branding this is a no go and I recommend legitimate email services, which is costly, or if you willing to take some risk hire someone who knows how to work around the edges. Either way you are going to have to spend money!
     
  16. MrOctopus

    MrOctopus Newbie

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    They never gave YOU explicit permission, so it's a no-go. If it was only a small list, risk it. But 1.5 million = guaranteed enough complaints to get attention.

    If you want to do email marketing legit and aggressively, find companies with lists who will do EDMs on your behalf
     
  17. skipuhbeat

    skipuhbeat Newbie

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    I'd def. take into account the source of the list--did you just stumble across this list or is it from a trusted source?

    Does it contain only major providers or does it include a lot of random domains?
     
  18. skipuhbeat

    skipuhbeat Newbie

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    US CAN-SPAM law does not specifically require opt-in. In fact, it specifically *allows* sending unsolicited commercial email... you just have to explicitly state that the email is an advertisement/commercial in nature. You also have to maintain and adhere to an opt-out (suppression) list... and scrub this against your send list in a timely manner (within ten business days, I believe).

    That's the beauty of US commercial email law--no permission needed!

    EDIT: There's still the issue of avoiding spam traps (honeypots), complaints, blacklisting... and actually getting into the inbox. If you're able to tackle that with a random list of email addresses, you shouldn't be fooling with marketing a brand... You should be a publisher!
     
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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  19. steelmagnum

    steelmagnum Newbie

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    Interesting, there's some good information in this thread. Think I'll first write a script to determine which emails are active and which arent. After that, I want to be able to see if there are any honeypots. Is there a web service or a program that can filter through honeypot email addresses? Maybe a database?
     
  20. Danny1111

    Danny1111 Elite Member

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    I had someone use a marketing service in Chicago to Spam the crap out me the other day.

    -- I was receiving 150 emails a minute ... called them up and they shut him/her down.

    They were hosted in Russia so going that way was not possible.