According to Doubleclick's latest annual survey of consumer attitudes about email, 65% of men are likely to think a company they've done business with is sending them unsolicited junk mail if the mail arrives "too frequently."
This compares to 55% of women.
If the company got permission first, but still mails too frequently, then 61% of men and 56% of women still think you're a junk mailer.
These results jibe with the data from Quris' similar study conducted this August. Consumers don't care about what you are legally entitled to send them or what permission box they ticked off a while back (and probably forgot 15 seconds later.)
They just care that there's stuff in their emailbox they don't want. And they are going to blame you for it. Men especially.
In effect, each name on your list is an unexploded bomb, ready to go off if you mail them too much, or the wrong sort of content. So, even if the law, advertising associations and vendor white papers tell you it's ok to mail something it may not be.
Email is rewarding, exciting, and yes, increasingly dangerous. And nobody can keep you safe but yourself.
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