|Received:||4/18/2004 12:16:45 AM|
|State:||Not in the US|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
When an email is sent to an established list of clients there is of course an element of 'commercial' in that communication. However, if there is useful information given that helps a client then that must put that email into a totally different category than one that is sent at random or, at least, without permission. A company or marketer can also use a permission list to find out what his/her clients want, need and are interested in. By providing products and services in response, his/her emails, on a one by one basis could easily be seen as commercial yet there is much more going on. And, of course, the client can unsubscribe from such legitimate mailings at anytime. A company or marketer that acts responsibly to the clients on his/her list is serving his/her customers. A company or marketer that sends out ads indiscriminately and excessively without offering anything useful for his/her list of clients could be said to be abusing the list -- very much a form of spamming. To send without any permission, with no identification and have no unsubscriber option is the worst. In short, a series or consecutive number of emails should be considered to determine whether the primary purpose of the mailings is to serve the clients or abuse them. Sales, of course, is always the underlying purpose of any business and so, by definition, is a business' mailings. Spam is abuse and that is what we all want to stop. I hope that it is not the anyone's intention to stop legitimate businesses from doing business, especially with clients who want to do business with them. RE:OPT-OUT -- Since this process can be automated(to my understanding) I think a period of less than 10 days would be appropriate. I DO THINK that the onus should be on the subscriber to ensure that they unsubscribed with the appropriate address. Re: Aggravated Violations: Anything other than double opt-in as a minimum should be unacceptable. There are probably new technologies developed all the time by these unprincipled operators which is why they should be targeted and removed from the marketplace. RE: Sender: should be considered to be the one(company or individual) who initiated the action(hit the send button) that put that email into the recipient's inbox. Re:E.2.3: 'Forwarding to a friend' should consist of a website address only--something like check out www.freecards.com for free business cards that is added at the end of an email, like a signature. The friend could then ignore it or check it out without having to read an entire ad if they're not interested. Referring back to my first comments: I do and would not forward any commercial email to my friends. I would consider that spamming. I will however refer friends who are interested to a website where they can chose to receive emails from that site/company/person. I always get permission, preferrably in an email.