Spam By Any Other Name?

Unsolicited spam can leave a bad taste in the mouths of your customers. Read on to find out how you can send spam tastefully.
This story first appeared in the May 1999 issue of Startups. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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.

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