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What Is SPAM?

Warning Signs Your Client Is Spamming
A guide for creative professionals
(with clients who misbehave) –
Part I (of MANY)…

Emercury.net is an email marketing solution originally created in 2002, to help creative agencies (web developers, freelancers, advertising agencies, etc.) to send professional HTML email campaigns, on behalf of their clients.

We have helped numerous agencies assist their clients with email.

Unfortunately, we have had to shutdown many agencies for their clients’ bad email marketing practices: sloppy list management, poorly designed emails, purchased lists, and old lists. These bad practices get the client and the agency reported for Spamming, and sometimes they get blacklisted. In some cases, we have seen their mistakes tarnish their reputation and follow them even when they move around from server to server, or switch email marketing services.

Luckily, most email marketing nightmares like this are preventable. You just need to know what the warning signs are, and how to deal with them.

What exactly is Spam?

Seems like a silly question. We all get Spam, and we all know what it is. But do you know the technical definition? You need to know it, so that when challenged by a stubborn client, you can easily explain why they are Spamming.

Email is Spam when it is:
1. Unsolicited (meaning the recipient did not opt-in for it), and,
2. Sent in bulk (meaning its part of a larger collection of messages that all have substantively identical content).

Source:  www.spamhaus.org/definition.html

Keep in mind those two criteria. Some clients will argue that, “I send unsolicited emails to prospects all the time from my computer.” And you can tell them that is not Spam, because it was not sent in bulk to 500 other prospects.

Some clients will tell you, “But I get Spam all the time! How come I can’t send it too?” Initially, that sounds like an extremely stupid reply, and it use to make me want to punch them in the gut. But I have learned during the years most newbie email marketers actually think Spammers are doing something that technically makes it legal and acceptable to send Spam. Like there is some kind of “Spam license” you can apply for, or “Spam system” you can use to make it okay. But if you explain to them that most Spam is actually sent illegally, via virus-infected, hijacked computers called “botnets,” they get the picture.

*Did You Know – the United States still leads all countries in Spam.  So although countries like China, Russia, and Brazil are touted as being the origin of the new wave of Spam, they have a long way to go to catch up to the United States.


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