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and how to avoid sending it ...

So what is SPAM?

This is a very subjective question and it's definition is very dependent on whom you ask or listen to. There are so many definitions floating around that each person or body will give you a slightly varied definition of "SPAM" - however, the most common definition is simply
"sending unsolicited commercial e-mail".

Now there are formal rules and definitions appertaining to SPAM which almost gives you the impression that you can't send anything to anyone - but of course that isn't so.

How To Avoid Spamming...

E-Mail is a method of communicating with other users - it should not be used for blatant advertising to people who haven't asked for information on your products or services. Providing you take note of this fact, are a responsible person, and you use your common sense, you should stay clear of Spamming.

Here are three pointers that will help keep you on the straight and narrow where SPAM is concerned:


NEVER send advertising media to anyone that has not asked for it - in other words, if they have not directly supplied you with their name and email address (called "Opt In") then don't email them with your advertising.

Bullet Point

NEVER send adverts to people on your Opt-In list without including an "Opt Out" method  - a simple statement will suffice saying something like:

If you do not wish to receive further mailings from us, please click here
(note - the line above is just an example and does not link to anywhere)

The "click here" link should be directed back to your automatic responder, or any other method of collecting names and addresses, which will provide for either automatic or manual removal of their details depending on how your set-up is configured.

The method is not the important feature here - it's the action! - it's SO important that you 
DO honor their request to be removed!.

Bullet Point

NEVER try to get anyone to "Opt In" by giving them false information either on your web site or in your email header - for example, if you are asking people to opt in by offering your latest information on "Web Site Design" - then make sure that the content of your reply is about "Web Site Design" - not full of advertising hype for other products that you're also selling.

Likewise, ensure that the subject header of your email is honest and relates to the content contained within the body of your email - whatever you do, do not use a header (as some so called marketing experts advise) that "...grabs the attention - no matter what the content of the email is...".

Those sort of tactics are bad news - Do NOT do it! - you will get the reputation of being dishonest - and remember - to become successful you have got to build up trust - plus, you will be running a high risk of being reported for SPAM!

If You are Reported for SPAM...

... the risks can be high - it can result in:

Bullet Point Loss of Internet Connection
Bullet Point Loss of your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Bullet Point Loss of your website
Bullet Point Loss of your email account
Bullet Point

Loss of anything or everything related to your email account
Bullet Point

In extreme cases you could face civil / criminal penalties.

There is only one simple and straightforward answer

Don't Do It !! -- DON'T SPAM

Tip: If you are unsure about anything that you're doing or sending, you can read the complete "CAN-SPAM Act" at http://www.ftc.gov/spam/ and the "Children's Online Privacy Protection Act" at http://www.ftc.gov/coppa/


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