A West-coast mailing list processing company is offering a new service -- they append email names to business names and addresses. Although this is legal, the process makes spamming possible which could be incredibly harmful for the naive business marketers buying the service.
When we called the company to find out where they were getting these business executives email information from, they told us they had about 25 sources whose names they wouldn't reveal, but yes many were trade magazine publishers. It's common practice for trades to rent out snail mail lists and even phone numbers, so perhaps these publishers don't realize the damage they are inflicting by also renting email names they've collected from subscribers. Folks, renting email lists is COMPLETELY different from other lists. You are setting yourself up for negative repercussions if you are doing so without clearly stated permission from each subscriber and without triple checking the purpose for which each renter will use the name. If one of your subscribers gets spammed because you rented out their name, they could blame you. And emotions run very high when it comes to spamming these days.
So, from now on be sure you strip out email addresses BEFORE you let any lists or databases out of house.
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