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Help me understand something about email marketing

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by qlithe, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. qlithe

    qlithe Power Member

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    What does actually count as spam?

    Let's say I'm a company and I want to reach out to a few other companies by a personal email, with a question or suggestion for instance. I visit their homepages, grab their contact email and send them all an email. Is this considered spam, since they are not opted in?

    What if I do this to 10 companies, 100 or 10000? Where is the line drawn?
     
  2. Xuuum

    Xuuum Newbie

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    A question or suggestion does not count as spam usually, but promotional offers do. Either way, check the ICANN rules and be sure to be on the safe side just in case.
     
  3. qlithe

    qlithe Power Member

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    So if I send 100.000 mails with a question its not considered spam?
     
  4. DATruk

    DATruk Newbie

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    That is one fine question. And as in the splitting of hairs there is no one good answer. That's the thing about rules; they often trod on legitimate efforts.
    I would say you probably already have a good idea what SPAM is. From an email recipient point of view, unsolicited email is usually spam. If you can establish some personal or business "connection", you may get away with an initial "personally written" offer. The more you send out, the greater the odds of someone reporting it as spam.
    While working for a company I attempted to establish email contact with past clients to get a list going blah blah blah. The companies ISP immediately shut down the bulk emails. Even at the ISP level there is vigilance on the lookout for spam.
    There really is no rule from god about this, just rules from providers you will use, whether your own webhost, or email service, or ICANN, or whomever has the power to shut you down. Tread carefully, as the road gets really steep once you are found guilty of spamming, accurately or otherwise.
    Small batches of email, which depends on your ISP firstly, will probably be okay. A call to the ISP beforehand explaining that these are small newsletters to your client list would help. If they are cold-call emails, even smaller batches might work.
    A quick search of the AWeber email service yields:
    What Is Spam?
    Ask 10 different people that question, and you'll probably get 10 different answers.
    Email senders (like AWeber) tend to use the textbook definition: Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE). You can read more about this definition at Spamhaus.
    UBE is a useful definition: it points out that some things that might be OK to do on a 1-to-1 basis (like send an email about your company to someone who has never heard of you) are not OK to do in bulk.
    But it's not a perfect one. Many things are not UBE but are considered spam by most people, including us.
    Instead of trying to create a definition of spam that covers every possible scenario, let's look at a few things that we will consider spamming. We think this will give you a pretty good idea of what not to do.