I have recently had two situations that were similar in nature and wanted to talk about the two as you may benefit from the experience.
It is very important to understand that lists of this nature – harvested emails, even done manually do not meet the criteria to pass review and do violate Federal Law. No one likes spam and although you might be able to get away with loading a list of that nature by lying your way through, are you willing to be held legally responsible for participating in that?
In another situation the person said that they could buy a list of 120,000 names from a party who they did not personally know for about $1,100 and that the list was CAN SPAM compliant and had been double opted in. This person was even told they should set up shell domains and spam, whoops send, to the list the first time and then resend to the list the second time on another domain – so the emails would not be blocked by ISPs. This is a spammer technique clear and simple – milk a domain for a few days, then drop it and move to another.
I have to say in both cases a business really flirts with disaster by doing shady deals and gray market activities in an effort to generate business even in a tough economy. My question in both these cases is: is it worth tarnishing your business reputation to send out spam? You hate spam, but you are you willing to spam others to make money for your own business?
For me, I will not participate in these types of enterprises. They are in violation of the law and I simply cannot risk get drawn into a bad situation that may spiral into legal action.
My question to you today is, are you breaking the law too? Or possibly just contemplating breaking the law. Maybe you just don’t know what they law says. Find out what the truth is when it comes to email lists and what is considered spam by reviewing the CAN SPAM act here.
What is interesting is that after these two conversations I checked with management at Topica (where my own e-newsletter list resides) about their policy on list creation and was told that they do not even allow the load of info, sales, and other generic email account names to the subscriber’s list as they know that these may be harvested emails. They focus on being totally CAN SPAM compliant and would not knowingly accept a harvest list of these natures. Vertical Response flags lists that are large (over 1,000 names on load) and asks the list owner to reconfirm in writing that the list is clean and not in violation of their terms of service or the CAN SPAM act. They will not even send the emails out until you provide answers.