I design/manage websites for several clients.
One of them is planning to launch something similar to Groupon (don't ask me why) and as I understand use purchased mailing list to send out emails.
Another client wants to email coupons for his existing websites that sells electronic components using email list that he purchased from some company.
I told them that hosting companies prohibit sending spam, so both clients wanted me to investigate T1 line option.
They think that it emails will have everything what The CAN-SPAM Act requires then everything will be OK.
Are the rules for T1 are different in regards to mass emailing?
[I have no idea how to set up hosting servers. I just know PHP, ASP & design]
Spam is unsolicited email. Commercial email is fine if you abide by US federal laws such as providing an opt-out function, allowing people to opt-in, putting your address at the end of each email, etc. however if you purchase an email mailing list, CAN-SPAM does not apply to you.
Short version: don't do it and don't let your customers do it. Mailing purchased lists is spam no matter who sold it, what they tell you about the list, what they promise, or what your customers think is or is not spam.
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Although the CAN-SPAM Act does not make this practice illegal, the use of such list(s) does actually violate the Anti-SPAM Act because the contacts on the purchased list did not grant your business explicit permission to solicit them via email.
Some purchased lists are gathered without the knowledge of the email contacts, while other lists are populated by individuals that have contacted a company to provide them with specific information.
Purchased lists that are gathered without the knowledge of the email contacts are the worst of any contact list a company could become in possession of. None of the individuals on the list have given any type of permission for your business to contact them, nor will they likely be the target audience of the list purchaser.
Lists composed of contacts with a common purpose are also typically sold by List Brokers, and while they might be more targeted in nature, the contacts still have not given your business the explicit permission to contact them. A common example of this type of purchased list, is when a bride-to-be signs up for “more information” from a wedding planning site that shares it’s email addresses with list brokers. A list broker then compiles a large list of brides-to-be, and sells them to companies that cater to the wedding industry.
If I was you, I would have a Terms of Service where you say you fully comply with CAN-SPAM laws, then point to that when you have someone approach you with this situation again. I have that in my Terms of Service and had 2 clients try it once then offered to pay me more if I could evade it.
I told them $1 per email for spamming was not worth the extra few hundred dollars they were willing to pay.
Abiding by the requirements of Can-Spam will keep them from being criminally prosecuted, but it is not enough to keep them from violating the terms of service of any reputable ISP. They may be able to find a provider for a T1 or other connection, to service their own server, who won't care, as long as it doesn't affect their other customers. But if they send bulk email to purchased lists, their IP address will quickly get on block lists, so even if the provider doesn't cut them off right away, they will have a harder and harder time getting their email delivered, even to people who did sign up with them. Unless they use a totally disreputable provider, eventually they will get cut off, when the block lists start blocking adjacent IP addresses.
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