Glossary of Internet Marketing Terms: Email Marketing

Email Marketing – Providing information via email to an opt-in mailing list.

Email marketing is only acceptable if you are either emailing to your own customers or list of individuals who have requested to receive information from you OR are using a company who has collected email addresses of individuals who have specifically asked to receive information about your site's topic. This is called an opt-in list, meaning recipients requested to receive information regarding this topic.

Many companies offer what is called double opt-in lists meaning those individuals on the list have been asked twice and have verified that they want to receive the information regarding that topic. The law also requires that an opt-out option be included in every email, which means recipients can choose to stop receiving future emails from that company in the future. This opt-out option must remove the individual from the email list so they will not be emailed to again.

It is ethical to work only with lists that are opt-in or double opt-in. Prices for this service can vary greatly depending on whether the list is opt-in or double opt-in. Another factor to consider is how targeted the list is in terms of demographics, regionalization and other more specific requests.

Usually email list providers have a $2,000 budget minimum for a campaign. Generally they will send to the list more than once for the fee they quote, but it is important to ask.

Unethical behavior in this form of marketing would refer to companies that cloak or lie about the true sender of the email to get through spam filters.

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