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Email Marketing vs. Spam - what's the difference?

by Alex Yumashev · Jan 14 2008
What's the difference between spam and email marketing?

Spam - is unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE) and its main characteristic is: recipients never agreed to receive it. Spammers obtain email-addresses from the Internet by searching Web pages for email addresses, scanning Google Groups for signatures, buying address-lists, reading WHOIS information for domains and subnets etc. All in all, spammers collect e-mail addresses which their owners have published for other purposes.

Legitimate email marketing is opt-in email, meaning you agree to receive newsletters, announcements or other marketing and support materials from the company. Companies who send these emails usually honor their opt policies as they don't wish to be categorized as spammers.

The key characteristics of spam:

The key characteristics of legitimate email marketing:

Also, while spam is sent using bot-nets, or open relays, marketing emails are sent using >legitimate mass email marketing software.

These are some distinctions between spam and email marketing.