How To Be The Good Guy In Email Marketing

by Daniel Erhabor · 52 comments

This is a guest post by Daniel Erhabor from

Most internet marketers, old and new, are reluctant to use email marketing to its fullest because they are afraid of spamming. They are afraid of being labeled “spammers”. The truth is that there is a thin line between ethical email marketing and spamming.

In this article you will learn how to be the “Good Guy” in email marketing.

Before you learn how to be the good guy, you need to know what makes an email a spam message. When you know this, we can then highlight ways to avoid it and your messages will never be labeled as spam.

What Is Spamming?

Spamming is to forcefully send messages to a lot of people over the internet by flooding their email addresses with copies of the same message without their request to receive such messages.

Spam is annoying.

Internet users frown at spam seriously. This is the reason measures have been put in place to penalize anyone doing it. For every legitimate email sent on the internet daily, there are far more spam messages sent. This sometimes make people and Anti-Spam systems list legitimate emails as spam.

The major characteristics of spam are:

• Spam Messages Are Unsolicited

Recipients of spam messages did not request to receive such messages. The email addresses are gathered through different means like email extraction from web pages. When the emails are gathered, spam messages will be sent to them.

• Spam Messages Are Selfish

In an ethical email, the recipients have the option to opt out of receiving such messages from the sender in the future. And when a recipient opts out, the sender respects the person’s decision and leaves him out.

Spammers do not respect their recipients’ decisions. Even when the recipient of the email opt outs from receiving messages from them, they will keep sending more messages to the person. Sometimes they change the content of the email or the sender address but it is the same spammer.

Spam Messages Cannot Pass An Anti-Spam Verification System

Anti-Spam verification is a system that automatically sends a message back to the sender address when an unsolicited email is sent to the email address protected by the Anti-Spam system.

The sender will be required to manually prove that they are human by entering a verification code. When this is done, the message will be delivered to the email address it was sent to. Spam messages cannot pass Anti-Spam verification because the spammer will not have the time to manually enter the verification codes for all the returned messages sent by the Anti-Spam system since he might have spammed over one hundred thousand email addresses.

Now that you know what makes a spam message, let’s see how you can be the good guy in email marketing.

Deal Only With An Opt-In Email List

Create your own opt in form to allow people WILLINGLY join your list. If you do not know how to do this or you are too busy, just outsource it to someone who has the knowledge and time.

When people willingly join your list, you know that they are interested in what you have to offer. When you send them messages, they will know that they requested to receive messages from you. As such, they will not report your messages as spam

Send An Opt In Verification Email

When someone joins your mailing list, you should send an email to confirm that it was the owner of the email that signed up to your list. This can be done automatically by using an autoresponder service.

They will send an email immediately the person joins your list. The person will have to visit his email and click the verification link to start receiving messages from you. This opt-in verification will get you pass Anti-Spam verifications. Anti-Spam systems see this as legitimate and you will be whitelisted.

Add A Privacy Statement Close To Your Opt In Form

Adding a privacy statement close to your opt in form will go a long way and will also increase the number of subscribers you get. Your privacy statement should simply say that you will not sell or share subscribers email addresses with third parties. Many people are scared of joining one list and then receiving emails from 10 other promoters. So by adding a privacy statement your reputation will go up.

Respect Your Privacy Statement

You must respect and stand by what you wrote in your privacy statement. Don’t use your privacy statement to lure people to subscribe to your email list and then go against your privacy statement and start selling it to list brokers. If you do this, you will be flagged as a spammer. You must respect your privacy statement. Do not sell your subscribers email addresses to anyone just as you assured them in your privacy statement.

Respect Your Subscriber’s Decision

When you are sending emails to your list, always add the option for your subscribers to opt out of your list when they want. And, if at anytime they decide to opt out of your list, respect their decision. Don’t start sending them messages because if you do this, it will be spam.

That is it. Do these things and you will always be the good guy in email marketing. You will never be flagged as a spammer.

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About Daniel Erhabor

Daniel Erhabor is an internet and email marketing consultant. He also writes for FlutterMail,, a fully featured web-based email marketing solution with free instant signup.

has written 1 superb article(s) on this blog

Daniel October 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I have thoughtfully followed all your comments to my article and I have decided to assist bloggers with their email marketing. From your comments, it is clear that conducting an email marketing campaign without spamming, or been considered as spam, is a big challenge. I will be working with a limited number of bloggers to plan, implement, monitor and conclude their email marketing campaigns ethically and effectively. I will assist in designing opt-in pages with Privacy Policy, create interactive email series and much more as outlined in my article. This is to enable you meet the goals of your campaign. I will also fully handle email marketing for one or two bloggers who would prefer to leave their email marketing to an expert while they focus on other aspects of their blogs that they are good at.

I can only work with a limited number of bloggers because this is not an automated activity. I will personally handle it. Contact me via my personal email danvaults(at) and let’s get started.

Alicia Madison October 25, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I too receive a lot of spam messages and till yet have not find the way to avoid these. Even some time the sender is also my web address, i was shocked at first to see that their was no email of sender instead there was mine. These spammers do a lot of homework i must say.

Nik October 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm


I follow quite a few bloggers to learn how they do business and develop their sites etc. Lately quite a few have changes their ratio’s between informative newsletters and offering junk that can harm your site.

Looks sometimes the whole thing is just one long auto responder with 5 suck in emails and great information and then the floodgates of marketing crap start to open.

I tolerate a maximum of 5 to 1, ie 5 info emails one marketing, if people go over that I un-subscribe. Personally I use a 10 to 1 ratio.


Nishadha October 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Double opt in mail is the way forward and in some countries they are required by law as well. Writing emails is an art that is a bit hard to master and lot has to do with the subject of your mail.

Tyler November 1, 2011 at 4:22 am

It’s a shame more internet marketers are afraid of using direct emailing campaigns. It’s been my experience that direct emails are one of the most effective forms of online marketing, but the key is absolutely building up a captive, interested audience and then providing valuable information to that audience.

Dennis November 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Spamming is really annoying and you may also risk your email address to ve banned. Make sure the people that are in your email list has requested to be part of it or subscribed for it.

Nothei November 23, 2011 at 1:49 am

No matter how you look at it email marketing is getting harder and harder. Spam/junk folders seem to pick up everything nowadays and people seem to think everything is junk. My personal experiences seem to be that if you make the email (including initial subject line) as personalized as possible it helps getting a response. Including what the person may be interested in, their name, etc. If it can grab their attention your chances are much better off.

Noel Addison December 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Respecting your target audience is very important in making your email marketing a success. We know that the main objective of sending emails to attract your prospect customers to your business and not to annoy them. You will only get their attention if they see that you have a nice offer.

Matt March 28, 2012 at 6:04 am

they say money is in the list and I have a couple of pretty active lists

I use aweber to manage all my lists – do you recommend anyone else?

Sushant Risodkar April 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Try GetResponse.

Suresh June 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I agree that you have to send mails only to people from your opt-in list. Even to that list, it is important to send them mails frequently if you want to maintain that rapport with your subscribers. But not every mail should have any offer else they may opt out of your list.

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