We were stunned when we came across an article by Internet Evolution, suggesting email marketers use Paypal's batch payment function to send mass emails to non-opted-in recipients, with a payment incentive to open the email. The article even states directly, "The sender can simply upload a list of targeted but unknown email addresses and give each a 1 cent payment."
The first true marketing email did not arrive until 1978, when a company called DEC (which became part of Compaq, now HP) sent an invitation to the product launch of a new machine to all addresses in the ARPANET directory on the USA’s West Coast. They were heavily criticized for the act, which broke the ARPANET appropriate use policy, and everyone else was reminded of the rule.
There are many examples of when you can do something, but perhaps shouldn't, and nowhere is this more evident (and prevalent) then in what is permissable under CAN-SPAM. For purposes of this article, in particular, we are going to talk about adding a customer's email address to your marketing mailing list without asking them first.
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If you are not sure about the exact definitions of the various levels of opt-in when it comes to building email marketing lists or other types of email lists, here is a quick review of what each of them mean. Because there is some confusion about what each of them means, especially where one method of list-building may have more than one name, we've created this resource explaining the generally accepted definitions of Double Opt-In, Confirmed Opt-In (COI), Single Opt-In, Opt-In, Opt-Out, and Transactional email for you.  These are the definitions that the inbox providers, ISPs, and spam filters use, and so it's important for you, as an email sender, to know them.
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