Serving Email SPAM and Losing Friends

SPAM emailYou have this wonderful product/service/deal that you just know everyone on your contact list is dying to know about! You can’t wait to share it with them! You have a few hundred emails in your email contacts so you write up an email extoling the virtues of this magical product or this incredible program or this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Now you have the perfect email to let them know about “IT”and you start sending the email out to your contacts. You carefully add the names in the “To” field of your email and send out the email in batches of 25 to 30 people. You know if you send too many at a time, your email program will reject the email.

Email iconYou notice people are already emailing you back before you even get through all your contacts! It’s working! So you eagerly open up an email from a friend and it isn’t even close to the response you expected from them. In fact, they are very angry at you and ranting on about something called SPAM! You open more emails and most of them are very similar to the first email you opened, some more polite than others, but all of them saying you are sending SPAM.

You have heard about SPAM, it’s that meat that comes in a can, isn’t it?  But you are pretty sure that isn’t what your contacts are referring to in their emails.  So you look up the term on the internet and discover that there are laws about emailing… Who knew?  Well, most people in business know about the SPAM laws and the fact that you just broke the laws, even if you didn’t know about them, makes you look really unprofessional.
Yes, what you don’t know about SPAM will hurt you socially and professionally. There are several really good articles on what SPAM is, what the laws are, but most important of all is following the email etiquette that is socially acceptable in today’s world.

So, what can happen if you send SPAM emails?  

  • SPAM emailYou can be reported for sending SPAM
  • Your email account can get shut down
  • You can get fined for sending SPAM emails
  • Your professional reputation can be damaged
  • People can block your emails so you can no longer email them
  • You can make a lot of people really angry at you
  • You DO NOT want any of these things to happen to you

Here are just a few things that our over eager spammer did that you could avoid doing:

  1. Email to a large group of contacts using the “To:” field in your email
    1. Never do this, no matter what.
    2. If you need to send to a group of people from your email, then use the “bcc:” feature at the very least, but we highly recommend using an email program like Mailchimp.
    3. It is acceptable to send to a small group of people who all know each other and have each other’s email using the “To:” field IF it is regarding something that this group of people is involved in directly. Never send emails to a group you belong to in this way if you are promoting your products/services/specials, unless that group has given permission to do so.
  2. Assume that everyone wants to know about something, you must get permission first before you put people on an email list.
  3. If you are going to be emailing to several contacts at a time, set up an email system using Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or one of the many other services available.
    1. If you don’t know how or don’t have the time, hire a VA to do it for you. It is cheaper than being fined for sending SPAM or getting your entire email account shut down for SPAM emails.

Newsletter signup greenAfter reading this, you will want to get be in compliance with the SPAM laws. We set up email programs and opt-in boxes on websites so you can be in compliance with the laws. Contact us to find out how.


If you  still have a few questions and want to make sure you are complying with the SPAM laws, please visit these sites for more information on the SPAM Laws:

Federal Trace Commission

SPAM Legislation

List of articles on SPAM and email Etiquette:

15 Tenets of Proper Email Marketing Etiquette 

25 Tips for Perfecting Your E-mail Etiquette

Email Etiquette 101

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About susan

Virtual Assistant and Social Media Manager - Reducing the Chaos of business and social media management.
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