We have implemented various practices and procedures that:
- Encourage permission-based marketing.
- Help to prevent our system from being used for the purpose of unsolicited email campaigns.
- Respond to all complaints suggesting that the Company has been used as a vehicle to send unsolicited email.
Spam is Unsolicited Email
Spam is unsolicited commercial email (UCE), junk mail or bulk mail that has not been requested by a recipient. In addition to being perceived as intrusive, irrelevant and often offensive, it is also typical that spam emails do not contain an option to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Simply put, spam is the opposite of permission-based emails--those that are requested, anticipated, personal and relevant.
This policy is based on opt-in subscription. Opt-in subscription is a key element of our business and an essential factor for newsletter publishers to successfully communicate with partners, clients and prospects. This requires that publishers who make use of our service only distribute e-mail to persons or organizations who have explicitly requested it, or with which they have a pre-existing personal or business relationship that can be verified. For example, customer purchases, organization membership, or requests for information would be valid connections. Correspondence that is relevant and contextual to an original relationship is also acceptable.
We offer customers 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 and remembered without exception. Customers who upload email lists must agree to these terms and are required to provide supporting documentation indicating the opt-in nature of their list upon request.
Third party lists are not acceptable for use on our network. It is not possible to transfer permission from one person or company to another person or company.
CAN SPAM U.S. Federal Law - effective Jan 1, 2004
All customers are required (at minimum) to comply with the United States CAN SPAM act as of Jan 1, 2004. The following is a list of items that must be considered.
Compliance Requirements for Electronic Mail Messages (e-mail) under CAN SPAM
- No materially false or misleading headers or transmission information. This requirement applies to all electronic mail messages, with no exception.
- No deceptive subject lines or headings in electronic mail messages.
- E-mail must contain a valid physical postal address.
- E-mail must contain clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation. Refer to the FTC's guidelines in Dot Com Disclosures for additional information on "clear and conspicuous."
- E-mail must include a clear and conspicuous notice of the OPT-Out:
- OPT Out must be clearly displayed in the electronic mail message.
- Allows recipient to request not to receive future electronic mail messages from that sender (as indicated in the "from" line of the email) at the electronic mail address where the message was received and such recipient shall only be required to enter their email address.
- The 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.
- The OPT Out must be put in effect within 10 days of receiving the request.
- The OPT Out must rely on either a reply electronic message or visit to a single internet webpage.
- Labels are required on e-mail containing sexually oriented material.
- Actions prohibited under the CAN SPAM law include:
- Harvesting of e-mail addresses and dictionary attacks
- Automated creation of multiple email accounts
- Relay or retransmission through unauthorized access
- 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 to Wireless Devices
Regulations have been implemented by the FCC that further restrict the delivery of commercial e-mail to mobile phones and other wireless devices. A stricter standard is applied when determining whether permission has been given by a mobile devise user. A mobile devise 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 e-mail address that shall receive the e-mails.
- Be informed that their wireless provider may charge them to receive such commercial e-mail.
- 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 seriousness and importance to us. However, despite preventive measures and email policies, the possibility remains that a user of our service will send email to a recipient who will view it as unwanted email (spam). Every complaint that is received gets read and acted upon by our abuse investigation team.
An abuse investigation consists of the following:
- Review of account history
- Request for information
- If requested, a customer must supply us proof of opt-in status for any and all persons on a subscriber list. Because of the short time frame in which we have to respond to complaints, customers agree to supply requested information within 72 hours of receiving a request.
- Findings report by investigator
- Abuse Manager decision
An abuse investigation can result in:
- Termination or probation of an account
- Collection of all contract payments due
- Potential collection of damages
Customers shall be liable for any damages sustained by us due to a customer's violation of this policy. Our license agreement gives us the right to publish the names of any customer who has been terminated because of spam complaints. This may then be shared with other permission-based providers to reduce the probability that the abuser will simply take their business to another provider and get past their controls. Recipients who want to report abuse can do so by sending email to abuse at imninc.com.
We use training and education resources to educate our clients and the direct marketing industry about the proper use of email marketing and how to market successfully without ever resorting to non permission-based practices.
Our company has developed an excellent reputation with ISPs based upon its history of distribution to opt-in customer email lists, and its stance on spam. Through this relationship, we will work to ensure that customer emails are delivered to recipient inboxes.
However, on the occasion that an email is not delivered or 'bounced', it is categorized in two ways, hard and soft bounces. Hard bounces are those that are permanently undeliverable due to non-existent or expired email addresses; these emails are excluded 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, the emails are re-sent periodically until they are delivered.
Modified 12/30/03 to include the CAN SPAM compliance requirements.
Modified 3/29/05 to include the Email to Wireless Devices compliance requirements.
Modified 6/13/08 to incorporate new CAN SPAM compliance requirements.