Subscriber Permissions and Your Subscriber Lists

Subscriber Permissions and Your Subscriber Lists

Permission based marketing and SPAM emails explained · There is a difference!

Permission Based Email Marketing

There is a big difference between having access to a list of email addresses, and having permission to send an email to that list. By using the services of Clarke Marketing you agree to follow our specific permission policy. Below you'll find more details about the common situations where permission is granted and where it is not.

While most Anti-SPAM laws are important, we don't feel they go far enough. Our definition of SPAM goes beyond the laws in most countries; SPAM is any email you send to someone who hasn't given you their direct permission to contact them on the topic of the email.

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The RIGHT way to get permission

Your email subscriber lists should be comprised of emails from:

  • These are all paying customers from my business, store, shop or website
  • Everyone signed up directly on a form on my website requesting subscription
  • Everyone signed up directly on a form in my store or shop
  • I have explicitly asked their personal permission to send them an periodical email
  • We attended a trade show, and people signed up at our stand to get our newsletter

The WRONG way to get permission

We cannot approve large lists of email addresses that are based around:

  • I bought (or rented) this 100% opt-in list from a reputable list broker
  • We attended a trade show, and got a list of everyone who attended
  • These are all paying customers from my poker site / adult site / friends site
  • They all bought something from my eBay store
  • I'm a member of the local Chamber of Commerce / sports club and every member gets given the directory and is allowed to email to them
  • Someone forgot to blind carbon copy a large email list so I've copied them from their list
  • They are all my LinkedIn connections or Facebook friends or they 'Liked' my Facebook page
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Our Privacy Policy

We allow you to import a list of email addresses for use in your marketing account. These email addresses MUST BE opt-in email addresses.

The following types of email addresses are NOT appropriate:

  • Any purchased list of email addresses from ANY source no matter what that source claims.
  • Any non-specific email addresses unless you know the recipient and permission is clear. Examples of these addresses are,,, and

Adding and importing names that go against these rules and our Anti-Spam Policy may result in the immediate termination of your account. Be sure to review our guidelines and the Permission Confirmation Checklist before importing addresses into your account.

Our Anti-Spam Policy

We take permission very seriously and by creating an account with Clarke Marketing, you are also agreeing to this anti-spam policy.

The law isn't enough, it's permission that counts

While Anti-Spam laws are a step in the right direction for reducing the spam problem, we don't feel they go far enough. Our definition of spam goes beyond the laws in most countries and encompasses what we believe to be true permission email marketing.

Spam is any email you send to someone who hasn't given you their direct permission to contact them on the topic of the email.

But that's not enough. Permission is a fuzzy word that's open to interpretation. Let's get into some specific scenarios so it's clear what does and doesn't constitute permission.

What kind of email addresses are OK to send to?

To send email to anyone using Clarke Marketing, you must have clearly obtained their permission. This could be done through:

  • An email newsletter subscribe form on your web site.
  • An opt-in checkbox on a form. This checkbox must not be checked by default, the person completing the form must willingly select the checkbox to indicate they want to hear from you.
  • If someone completes an offline form like a survey or enters a competition, you can only contact them if it was explained to them that you would be contacting them by email AND they ticked a box indicating they would like you to contact them.
  • Customers who have purchased from you within the last 2 years.
  • If someone gives you their business card and you have explicitly asked for permission to add them to your list, you can contact them. If they dropped their business card in a fishbowl at a trade show, there must be a sign indicating they will be contacted by email about that specific topic.

Basically, you can only ever email anyone who has clearly given you permission to email them specifically about the subject you're contacting them about.

What kind of email addresses are NOT OK to send to?

Anything outside the examples above doesn't equal permission in our eyes, but here are some examples to make sure that we're crystal clear about this. By using Clarke Marketing, you agree not to import or send to any email address which:

  • You do not have explicit, provable permission to contact in relation to the topic of the email you're sending.
  • You bought, loaned, rented or in any way acquired from a third party, no matter what they claim about quality or permission. You need to obtain permission yourself from the recipient.
  • You haven't contacted via email in the last 2 years. Permission doesn't age well and these people have either changed email address or won't remember giving their permission in the first place.
  • You scraped or copy and pasted from the web. Just because people publish their email address doesn't mean they want to hear from you.

Sure, some of these people might have given you their email address, but what's missing is your permission to email them commercial messages. Blasting promotional emails to any of these people won't be effective and will more than likely see your email marked as spam by many of your recipients.

What content MUST I include in my email?

Every email you send using Clarke Marketing must include the following:

  1. A single-click unsubscribe link that instantly removes the subscriber from your list. Once they unsubscribe, you can never email them again.
  2. The name and physical address of the sender. If you're sending an email for your client, you'll need to include your client's details instead.

How we'll know if you don't have permission

Clarke Marketing has numerous layers of approval and monitoring to ensure you comply with our anti-spam policy. Here's a few of them:

  1. Until your account has been approved by a member of our vetting team, every email you send will need to be approved.
  2. Our software is directly integrated into the spam reporting systems for some of the biggest ISP's like Hotmail and AOL. If you don't have permission and someone marks your campaign as spam, we'll know about it the moment that button is pressed. If you receive a complaint rate greater than 0.3% of all recipients (that's 30 complaints for every 10,000 recipients) you will receive a warning email requesting an explanation and giving you advice. This is a generous figure that takes into account false spam reports. Higher levels of complaints will result in accounts being locked or terminated.
  3. Our vetting team verifies all large lists imported into our software. Until we've given it the all clear, you can't send to it.
  4. We monitor blacklists and our abuse accounts all day every day. We can pinpoint who is causing us delivery problems or attracting complaints very easily.

If we do discover that you're emailing people without their permission, we will terminate your account with Clarke Marketing immediately.

In the end, it's really common sense. Take off your marketing hat and put yourself in your recipient's shoes. If they don't recognise who you are or aren't interested in what you're sending, they'll think you're a spammer. It's that simple.

If you have any questions about our Anti-Spam Policy, please just contact us.

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