Spam is sending emails to people who did not give you permission to send it. Basically, "unsolicited junk email". It is often sent out using false email addresses, includes non-functional if any unsubscribe info, and generally the email addresses come from some sort of "Super-Email Database" CD-ROM produced by the Spam spiders of the Web.
Because it is possible to use our system for sending out Spam, we have a very strong policy prohibiting this sort of use. Using our system to send out emails to addresses gained in any way that did not include the potential clients opting into your list will incur a $500 (US) charge per substantiated incident (i.e. per email).
Autoresponders are not Spam (unsolicited "junk" email). They are based entirely around the opt-in model of email marketing. This means that your clients must first express interest in your business by sending you an email, filling out a form, making a purchase or otherwise contacting you. Furthermore, all Autoresponder messages sent out by www.CashPractice.com & www.Drip-Education.com have an Unsubscribe link and a Change Email Address link, so any client may opt-out of your list at any time.
Please see our Terms of Service Agreement for details, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we receive complaints of Unsolicited Bulk/Commercial Email (UCE, or commonly "Spam"), your account will immediately be closed. No questions asked. Just one person who feels they were spammed can effectively shut you and us down if they know how to press the issue. Therefore we have a zero tolerance policy regarding spam complaints.
The best way to avoid being accused of spamming is to use your OWN list of emails. You can collect emails (getting permission to use them) by several methods. You can have a form on your website inviting visitors to submit their name & email. A great way is to simply have a place for people to enter their email on any paperwork a client may fill out. Another is to simply ask people for it during conversation. Unless you are trying to market to the world, your market is like you're own city. Unless you are selling something that anybody from anywhere can get, there's no sense in collecting emails from them.
Of course there are companies that sell Opt-In lists. However, you significantly increase your chance of getting accused of spamming when you use these. If you decide to do so, make sure you purchase your list from a REPUTABLE company.
You will come across ads that say "1 Million Emails on CD for $59". STAY AWAY from these. You are guaranteed to get labelled as a spammer if you use these.
Believe it or not, there are actually program you can buy that will scan the internet for email address. These are known as Mail Harvesters. Absolutely do not use these or purchase emails from a list provider who uses one.
Spam use extremely excited language, with lots of exclamation points (!) and/or capital letters, has poor spelling and/or grammar and even declares that the message is not Spam. So, make sure you don't use lots of (!) and be sure to spell check your email copy. Mainly, you should keep your email copy 'persuasive, but professional.'
In summary, just follow the golden rule. Mail unto others as you would have them mail unto you. Follow your common sense and you should rarely, if at all, ever get a complaint of being a spammer.
Lastly, you should know you will never be entirely safe from Spam complaints. No matter how well qualify your lists, no matter how scrupulously you purge bad addresses, even if you meet people face-to-face and add them to a paper list, someone will forget that they subscribed. If you get accused of Spam, it is extremely important that you handle it gracefully. Contact the person and simply apologize profusely, promise them you will never send them another email and delete their address from your database. Most people are pretty forgiving when they realize the email was sent to them by mistake and not part of a million email marketing attack.