3 Types of Email Marketing Part 2

Grey Hat Email Marketing (label or listing)

Although not illegal (some can/could argue this), grey hat email marketing is still frowned upon. The quickest way to grow a list is to send bulk email to unsolicited people (we are not condoning this behavior one bit). If the consumers were introduced to you before you send out an announcement, this would be better but still sending a mass email broadcast to people who did not ask for your information is wrong. Let me explain. Let’s say you know a company that sells paint brushes. They collected several thousand people who have purchased their brushes. You make them an offer to buy their list. You, yourself, sell paint. I am sure you can get the picture here. Basic grey hat email marketing is buying a subscriber list and mailing to it from another source.

Believe it or not, this type of gorilla style email marketing is part of the 65% I talked about in the last article. Grey listed email marketing is being argued worldwide by fighters and mailers if it should be legal or illegal. According to fighters, they call the Can Spam Act of 2003 the “You Can Spam Act” because the email marketer only needs to have a working unsubscribe and a real physical address one can request opt out information from. The reason this legislator leaned towards the email marketer instead of the fighter is because politicians rely heavily on email marketing and when this bill was introduced, they gave more air time to emailers than to network administrators.

Grey hat emailing will also get you blacklisted quickly. Requesting removal can be hard because the blacklist owner will want more than just a request, rather they would want evidence that this email address actually opted in to their own list. Many grey hat emailers bypass this by doing what black hat ones do. Get another server. Grey emailing is risky, costly and hurts resources like IP’s and domains. One should look at their email marketing procedures and compare their actions with black hat actions. If there are identical behaviors, then the mailer is doomed to fail. Mixing black hat with grey hat just simply will not work.

White Hat Email Marketing (label or listing)

White hat emailing is sending an email to someone who requested to be mailed to. The subscriber knows who you are and requested the information rather than bullied into it. White mailers go the extra mile and make sure that the subscriber realizes they actually signed up to receive their information by telling them so. This form of mailing is called double optin or verification/confirmation. When a white hat email marketer sends anything to this list of confirmed subscribers, there should not be any bots, scams or fake subscribers. Fighters will let go of the monitoring of an email marketer if the emailer sends them a confirmation email. Although, some fighters perhaps go to the extra mile to monitor, it seems to be pretty rare. White hat subscriber lists are small and extremely responsive. Grey emailers are looking for these types of lists to grow their own.

Bottom line, white hat emailing is the preferred way to go. However, if you neglect to mail to your list over a period of time, you run the risk of running into bounces, bots and informants. Fighters purchase expired domains and activate the mail exchange to see if anyone is abusing. If your list is large and old, your service provider will definitely shut you down until you clean it. That is where we come in.