From the May 1999 issue of Startups

For those of you who want to send e-mail en masse as part of your marketing plan (otherwise known as spamming for dollars), heed our advice:

  • Find out whether there are any specific spam restrictions in your state and in the states where your customers live.
  • Before you purchase a mailing list from a reputable company, find out how it compiles its list and whether it has lists to match a specific interest or market. Also find out whether the company guarantees a specific number of responses.
  • Make sure your e-mail includes a "remove" message that allows recipients to ask to be taken off the list.
  • Don't use false headers. Laws require you to correctly identify yourself.
  • Don't falsely advertise. Be upfront about your service or product, as well as its value and cost.
  • Establish a refund policy that allows people to return a product or service within a set number of days.

Julia Miller is a Los Angeles business writer specializing in sales and marketing.