Sending unsolicited email

I sent fifty emails to fifty very targeted recipients unsolicited, following the CAN-Spam guidelines.
One person replied no thank you. About ten didn’t reply, but the rest replied with “please provide more info”.
To me this is pretty successful. Can anyone comment about the ramifications for doing this?
Do you find this to be legitimate marketing? Has anyone else sent unsolicited emails following the guidelines as a marketing tool?

To me, it’s just spam.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s legitimate marketing if you were following the CAN-SPAM guidelines. But I recommend not to do such too often since it will lower your sending reputation and finally be regarded as spammer. You may find it work in short time, but in a long time, you’d better send to subscribers.

Thanks for your replies.
What is a “sending reputation”?
Regarding “you’d better send to subscribers”, do you mean wait till they find your web site and then wait till they sign up as a subscriber?
That seems like an incredibly slow process.
thanks again. I look forward to other comments.

Try this for your sender score :

You should also check you are not on any spam lists at random intervals…

[FONT=verdana]You are to be commended for following the CAN-Spam guidelines, but the fact is (as Ralph said), it’s still spam. It’s no good arguing that the recipient can opt out. By the time they’ve received your message, it’s too late for them to opt out; they’ve already suffered the inconvenience. In any case, why should they have to go to the trouble of opting out? The only non-spam way to send marketing messages is to send them to people who have already opted in.

That said, you appear to have achieved a remarkably high success rate. I would guess the reason for that lies in the two words “highly targeted”. Any form of marketing will always be more likely to succeed if it is properly targeted. But it doesn’t alter the fact that it’s still spam. (The guidelines only address legal compliance issues; they are not concerned with the quality of your marketing.)


Most of the people would consider it spam because email marketing is being exploited by many to send excess number of emails. I would rather suggest that you use Google drive and send forms or polls etc to users and market your products. This would be a more legitimate way to do. Although i’m not sure about the number of users to whom you could send this (probable hurdle would be that you cannot share those forms and polls with non google mail account users, although i’m nout sure of this). Alternatively you could use such similar service which is compatible with all the email services.


I obviously can’t advocate spam, no matter how you try to justify it, its still spam. However. I personally regard SPAM as the following.

An entity that continues to email me more than once during a day and every week or more.
An entity that even after unsubscribing sends me emails.
An entity that sends me completely irrelevant things e.g ***** Extensions.

If I were to receive an email, and I have, which is targeted to my field and could actually be interesting to me, does not look like spam or trying to sell me something I will either look at it, check it our 1st or I will just delete the email, if they send it again, I will unsubscribe or continue to delete, if sent again I will respond with an unsubscribe.

Sending 50 emails aint really going to cause you or anyone any problems especially if targetted and I doubt these 50 people will report you. If you kept hounding them it would be different.

Personally I think it’s a difficult area, although it’s not and it’s very clear.

If I had a genuine cure for some disease which people were inflicted with, would they be annoyed/report me if I dropped them an email…Is that still classed as SPAM???

If you had some cure for a disease you would not be sending it via email to some random people. So your example is already fubar. Seeing as a lot of fubar people send email saying they have a cure to “whatever” just send them $100 for their book. your example falls flat. Either way, getting medical advice from some unknown source in some random email is the stupidest thing ever.

Either way it is SPAM. Thing is, you actually got responses from a big percentage. You pretty much just KILLED those targets if you think about it. Next time they see anything remotely similar to what you sent they will automatically classify as spam and either delete or send back another “DO NOT SEND” or take off list.


The US CAN-SPAM rules are there to specifically allow spam to be sent in the USA.

Sending unsolicited emails is not permitted in any country that has proper laws against the sending of spam (eg Australia).

Any email that the recipient hasn’t signed up (via double opt-in) to receive and where the recipient has not had any prior interaction with you (such as buying from you) is SPAM even if you do comply with laws where a specific country allows the sending of SPAM.

It’s surprising that you’ve have such good results from spamming. From experience I never got any responses on sending unsolicited emails, a little like cold calling. You’re just hoping for that shiny apple amongst a bucket of dull ones.

From an ethical point of view, what you’re doing is wrong, there is no two ways about it, I read those SPAM guide-lines and it’s a little laughable, similar to kicking somebody in the nads, and letting them know that they could opt-out next time round, ideally you would not want to receive spam in the first place.

Trouble is when money is involved what once is considered unethical, is considered border-line to acceptable.


Trouble is when money is involved what once is considered unethical, is considered border-line to acceptable.

That kinda sums up the whole world right now. :slight_smile:

Spam is a spam. What one considers as targeted, is a very subjective view. You have other legitimate ways of promoting your product / site. I prefer permission marketing.

I’m sure in the UK it is legal to target business owners in this way, but its all down to how you use it.

If you were going to use such a tool to find guest posting oppertunitys and not send millions of pointless untargeted emails then I doubt you would have a problem.

That’s the problem tho, isn’t that still regarded as SPAM. Any time you send an email to someone asking for something, whether selling or not, that technically is SPAM. You response poses a good question. Is that SPAM? Surely if you wanted a guest blog, people should find your site and ask to guest blog not the other way round???

Where is the line drawn.

Spam is very much in the eyes of the beholder. Imho, it is not so much a matter of whether it is technically spam or not, but if it is perceived as such.
Technically, all unsollicited emails trying to sell/promote something that are sent for that purpose, are spam. I get lots of it, but on the rare occasion that I read it and it actually contains an outstanding offer, I don’t mind. At the same time, stuff that comes in from companies that I allow to send “newsletters”, is technically not spam, but it does irritate me. If the irritation level becomes greater than the interest level, I lose all confidence in the company and will block them completely.

Bottom line: if your offer is of genuine interest to the receiver of the email, I doubt very much you would get any agro over it.

I recently moved all my email to Google’s servers, and I now no longer have to read any of this stuff, thanks to their awesome spam folder. It’s clear what Google thinks of unsolicited email. :smiley:

That’s how I look at it. I get lots too and sometime I will read it and check it out. I Regard SPAM as utter crap emails that are no interest to and the person is clearly blasting emails all over the place.

Ralph. Google will filter emails that LOOK like spam, either it triggers spam flags or the sender hasn’t built up a good email profile / server looks dodgy, so you will still get it. If I generally sign up to something e.g a forum to post a quick question e.t.c I’ll use my google account too and keep my yahoo one for all the things I want to receive.

The best business you’ll get is from people who come to you asking for advice, tips, service, etc. and not showing them your opportunity or website and asking if they’re interested.
In the long run, attracting customers is a much more effective and profitable method. You should start building an email list ASAP.