Deliverability: Email Lists, Permission and Opt-In


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Email Lists, Permission and Opt-In

What exactly is permission?

In regards to email, obtaining permission requires a clear notice to users at the point of collecting their email address so that they can easily understand exactly what they are consenting to upon providing their email address. Permission is clearly communicated consent to receive specific, knowable email messages from specific persons or businesses. Permission-based email sending is the practice of sending email messages to recipients who have agreed to receive them.

What is an opt-in list?

An opt-in email list is a list of email addresses obtained by persons actively requesting to be added to an email distribution list by submitting their email address. Typically, opt-in lists are built (or grown) by completing surveys, purchasing products, responding to telephone calls, or responding to printed mail. Please realize that if you have created an Opt-In list, it is opt-in for you and only you (or your company). Swiftpage emarketing does not condone sending to your Opt-In list on behalf of someone else or another company. Swiftpage supports suppression file encryption if requested by the customer.

Email lists: what can and can't I use?

Create your own list. We understand this takes time, but this is the legal way to create a list and it will yield the best results for your email marketing campaigns. If you have a website, place a survey on it asking people to sign up for your newsletters or promos. Swiftpage emarketing provides a “List Builder” feature which allows you to create a custom survey and place it on your website.

If you are selling a product or service, ask people to join your mailing lists during the purchase process. If you contact your customers via telephone or print mail, invite them to join your email list.

If you have purchased a contact list, DO NOT email them until you have received permission from them. This is typically done by first calling them or sending them print mail. If we suspect any customer of spamming, we will ask them for proof of permission for their list.

Case Study #1: "I purchased an 'Opt-In list;, can I send an email campaign to this list?"

No, you cannot send email to a purchased list even if the company selling the list claims it is “opt-in”. This is a common pitfall for legitimate growing businesses. If you have purchased a list, we recommend calling them or sending them a direct mail promotion first that directs them to your website. On your website have a place where people can sign up for your email newsletters or promos.

Case Study #2: "We use a list matching service that matches addresses to emails"

Using a list matching service will not provide you with an Opt-In email list. If you have your customers address or telephone number, we recommend calling them or sending them post mail to drive them to your website where you can then have them sign up for your newsletter, promotion, or any emails you would like to send them. Remember, even if you have had contact with a person for years you may not have permission to send them email.

Case Study #3: "I copied an email address from their website, is it ok for me to solicit them via email?"

Taking an email address from a website to use in your email marketing campaigns is called address harvesting and is not only unethical but also illegal. Do not send an email marketing campaign to email addresses harvested from the internet. Typically harvested email addresses are general in nature and not personal. For example a list comprised of email address like,,,,, is probably a list of harvested email addresses. Do not send to general email addresses unless you have their consent.

Case Study #4: " Someone accidentally or purposefully marked my email message as “junk” after they read it. Does that make me a spammer? Will Swiftpage emarketing cancel my account?"

We understand that your recipients will accidentally opt-out of your lists, accidentally report you as SPAM, and purposefully report you as SPAM. When you are emailing 100’s to 1000’s of opt-in recipients, we understand that not everyone will respond the way you want them to. Here at Swiftpage emarketing , we inspect many variables before we even consider that you might be spamming. The statistics of spammers are often very different from legitimate user