Rules for adding email subscribers

One of my favorite blogs these days is Whatcounts.com, for their clear and highly specific guidance re email marketing. For example, the question of when it’s legal to add email addresses to your contacts list has always seemed like a fuzzy one. Here’s Whatcounts on this subject: “Under CAN-SPAM, you are (by the letter of the act) allowed to send email to anyone so long as you have a working opt-out mechanism and the list isn’t harvested.”

In other words, as long as you have the required tools for unsubscribing, along with valid email header information, postal address, etc., you don’t need permission from your contact. I took a look at the Federal Trade Commission page on email requirements and found much the same thing.

Where does this leave you? How well do you have to know someone to add them to your contacts list? What do you think?

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