You Don’t Like Spam. Neither Do We.
The backbone of Inbox Group’s email policy is permission. Permission, or opt-in subscription, is a key element of our business and an essential factor for newsletter publishers to successfully with partners, clients, customers, and prospects. As a result, Inbox Group has implemented practices and procedures which:
- Require permission-based marketing
- Help to prevent our system from being used for the purpose of unsolicited email campaigns (spam).
- Allow Inbox Group to respond to all complaints suggesting that our email marketing platform is being used as a vehicle to send spam.
Inbox Group’s Email Marketing Policy
To become an Inbox Group client, you must agree to and maintain compliance with the following policies:
- You are required to send messages that are compliant under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2004 (described in further detail below).
- You are required to be compliant with the FCC’s regulations regarding email to wireless devices (described below).
- You are not allowed to import and send to email lists that have been purchased from list brokers and other list purchasing agents. Inbox Group has a firm policy against buying email lists.
Inbox Group offers our customers the tools to assist in building permission-based subscriber lists. Opt-in subscription management tools must be employed on every outgoing email and opt-out requests must be honored without exception. If you upload email lists, you must agree to these terms and are required to provide supporting document indicating the nature of the permission involved of your lists upon request.
Third-party lists are not acceptable for use on Inbox Group’s email marketing platform. It is our policy that permission cannot be bought, sold, or transferred from one person or company to another person or company.
Compliance Requirements for Email under CAN-SPAM
To be CAN-SPAM compliant:
- Email must contain no materially false or misleading headers or transmission information.
- Email must contain no deceptive subject lines or headings.
- Email must contain a valid physical postal mailing address.
- Email must contain clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation. Refer to the FTC’s guidelines on Dot Com disclosures for additional information on “clear and conspicuous.”
- Email shall not contain any inducements to procure or otherwise intentionally pay or provide consideration to another person to initiate or suggest that the recipient forward a commercial email on behalf of the sender.
- Email must include an obvious opt-out functionality:
- Opt-out must be clearly displayed in the email message.
- Opt-out must allow the recipient to request to not receive future email messages from the sender at the email address where the message was received and such recipient will only be required to enter their email address.
- Opt-out must not be conditioned on the payment of any fee.
- Opt-out must be functional for 30 days after the message was transmitted.
- Opt-out must be put into effect within 10 days of receiving the request.
- Opt-out must rely on either a reply email or visit to a single Internet webpage.
- Labels are required to identify any email contain sexually oriented material.
Actions prohibited under CAN-SPAM include:
- Harvesting of email addresses
- Dictionary attacks
- Automated creation of multiple email accounts
- Relay or retransmission through unauthorized access.
Email to Wireless Devices
Regulations have been implemented by the FCC which restrict the delivery of commercial email to mobile phones and other wireless devices. A stricter standard is applied when determining whether permission has been given by a mobile device user. A mobile device user must:
- Give express prior authorization to receive commercial messages from a specific sender whose identity must be provided at the time authorization is given.
- Provide the email address that shall receive the commercial emails.
- Be informed that their wireless provider may charge them to receive such commercial email.
- Be informed that they may revoke their authorization at any time.
In addition, these regulations require greater evidence that such authorization was obtained. If the consent was obtained through electronic methods (such as e-mail), such authorization must contain the subscriber’s signature, including electronic signatures as set forth in the E-Sign Act (15 U.S.C. §7001).
Permission marketing is of the utmost importance to Inbox Group. Despite preventative measures and email policies, however, the possibility remains that a user of our service may send email to a recipient who will view it as unwanted email (spam). Every complaint that is received gets read and acted upon by Inbox Group’s abuse investigation team.
An abuse investigation consists of the following:
- Review of account history
- Request for information
- If requested, a customer must supply Inbox Group with proof of opt-in status for any and all persons on their subscriber list. Customers agree to supply requested information within 72 hours of receiving a request.
- Findings report by investigator
- Abuse manager decision
An abuse report can result in:
- Termination of probation of an account
- Collection of all contract payments due
- Potential collection of damages.
Customers shall be liable for any damages sustained by Inbox Group due to a customer’s violation of our email policy. Our license agreement gives Inbox Group the right to publish the names of any customer who has been terminated due to spam complaints. This information may then be shared with other permission-based providers to reduce the probability of the abuser simply taking their business to another provider and getting past their spam controls. Recipients who want to report abuse can do so by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inbox Group provides training and education resources to educate our clients and the direct marketing and email marketing industries about the proper use of email marketing and how to market successfully without resorting to non-permission-based practices.
Inbox Group has developed an excellent reputation with ISPs based on our history of distribution to opt-in customer email lists, and our stance on spam. Through these relationships, Inbox Group will to ensure that your email marketing messages are delivered to recipient inboxes.
On the occasion that an email is not delivered or “bounced,” however, it is categorized in two ways: hard and soft bounces. Hard bounces are those that are permanently undeliverable to non-existent or expired email address. These emails are removed from user lists automatically. Soft bounces are temporary bounces that aren’t always defined but are a result of technical difficulties such as down servers or full mailboxes. In these cases, emails are resent periodically until they are delivered.
Effective Date of Policy: November 1, 2011