1. When an e-mail features more than one company (ex: a co-sponsored event), one company can be designated the “sender.” That company should be represented in the “from” line and is in charge of opt-outs, etc. Note: all sponsors of the message are still liable under CAN-SPAM.
2. E-mails that are forwarded to a third party using a FTAF (Forward to a Friend) utility are not liable for CAN-SPAM prosecution, even if they lack CAN-SPAM requirements (physical mailing address, etc.) unless the marketer is paying the recipient to forward the e-mail.
I was also struck by another comment of David’s in the same post:
“(We) strongly urge our clients to grow their list organically and to not rent or buy email lists, not only because list rentals ruin our reputation and that of our clients, but also because they simply don’t work.”
Now, I can certainly understand why it’s in Boomerang’s business interest to have their clients not rent e-mail lists: namely, they can’t broadcast to those lists using Boomerang. I also concur that buying lists is a risky proposition (any e-mail list you can buy is almost definitely not opt-in, by definition), but “list rentals ruin our reputation and that of our clients”? With all due respect to David, that seems a bit harsh.
It’s true, response rates from rented lists have decreased substantially in the past few years, to the point where, at CDI, we use them very selectively, but I’ve never considered I was putting a client’s reputation at risk by doing so. Owners of opt-in e-mail lists (and by that I mean well-known, reputable publishers) and list brokers are, in my experience, some of the most diligent adherents to CAN-SPAM and direct marketing best practices in general. Furthermore, list acquisition methods that some might consider “organic” – for example, harvesting individual e-mail addresses from Websites, or buying contacts from the new breed of business databases like of Jigsaw and Spoke, can easily result in spamming if abused.
In my view, you run no risk to your reputation by renting e-mail lists providing you use opt-in lists exclusively and work with a trusted broker or agency partner. Furthermore, renting e-mail lists is still a viable, cost-efficient means of pushing your message to the marketplace, reaching prospects you wouldn’t reach if you simply tried to grow your list “organically.”
It’s possible (even probable) that David is referring to his clients’ “sender reputation,” a measure of a marketer’s trustworthiness built on, amongst other things, the spam reports that company’s e-mails generate, the delivery rate of those e-mails, etc. But even then: because e-mail list owners get instant notification of bad addresses, and because they’re motivated to keep their files as clean as possible in order to generate high performance and repeat business, the deliverability rate of those lists can often exceed a client’s own in-house database.
Comments? If you rent an e-mail list, do you consider your company’s reputation in jeopardy?