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Spam messages often have forged or invalid email headers. This means it is difficult (if not virtually impossible) to trace source of email based upon header information within email message. Since sender of message cannot be identified message is unethical. In this case, even a single email message would count as spam.
Ethical mailings include a method for opting out which actually works.
If you run a newsletter or do any kind of mass mailing, you must include at least one method of removal in email message itself. This removal method (and more than one is preferable) MUST WORK. Some things which I often see in opt-out schemes which ARE NOT VALID include following:
- Any email message which states that reader must go to a web site, log in and then modify his email preferences is UNETHICAL. This requires too much information from user and forces him to do too much work.
- If email message includes an unsubscribe link (or other means) which does not work, then it is UNETHICAL.
- Messages which validly allow for opt-out but then say "you will be removed in a week" or some other long period of time are UNETHICAL. These are computers people, and there is no reason to include these long delays. Remove person immediately.
Ethical mass mailings are double-opt-in. This means after a person signs up for mailing list, he receives a confirmation message. He must either reply to this message or click a link to activate mailings to him. Any other form of opt-in is UNETHICAL as it allows people to be subscribed by others or by accident.
Ethical mailings do not include webbugs, set cookies or perform any kind of involuntary tracking.
Ethical mailers do not use email harvesters. Using special robots to gather email addresses from web sites is UNETHICAL. These email addresses are generally included on web sites to allow individuals to communicate with individuals. Rarely is intention to join a mass mailing list distributed on CD. ALL USES OF EMAIL HARVESTING IS UNETHICAL.
Ethical mailers do not take advantage of open relays or use other "spammer tricks". If you are legitimate, then there is no need to attempt to hide your whereabouts or cover your tracks. Using a relay without permission or sending millions of emails through an unprotected formmail script is simply bad manners.
Get idea? Spamming is NOT sending someone one or more email messages without their express permission. Spamming is simply ignoring rights of others (your audience, system administrators and even users of internet as a whole). That's all it is.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.