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SmartBiz's Keys to Online Success: Don't Be An Inadvertent Spammer
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By Carl Weinschenk

Clearly, everyone—with the exceptions of the criminals—hates spam. By the same token, many companies rely on email marketing to attract new customers and to stay in touch with those they have. In many instances, these messages are welcome by clientele, who look forward to special deals and/or useful information in messages from vendors, services providers and others.

But bad email can get a company in big trouble. Organizations can avoid trouble altogether by abstaining from the email market completely, outsourcing their entire email operation to service providers with expertise or by taking a stab at doing things properly by educating themselves on the difference between spam and legitimate email marketing.

The two best options, of course, are to outsource and to become educated. The outsourcing option is particularly attractive. Email marketing is a complex task, and there are many issues beyond simple legality that a service provider can help with. If the company is handling its own email, there are many resources on the Web that can help the company stay out of trouble. The organization's ISP also can provide guidance.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.
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