Ethics & Email Marketing Best Practices

U.S. employees spend, on average, about a quarter of the work week combing through hundreds of emails. Despite the fact that we’re glued to our reply buttons, plenty of professionals still don’t know how to use email appropriately. Because of the sheer volume of messages we’re reading and writing, we may be prone to making embarrassing errors, and those mistakes can have serious consequences.

When it coes to mass emails or email marketing campaigns, best practices include informed consent – having permission to send emails in the first place. 

  • Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative, a universal moral principle, states that to act ethically we must treat each other as ends not as means only. 
  • The Categorical Imperative implies informed consent.
  • Informed consent requires notification, comprehension, and voluntary agreement.
  • Subscribing journalists to email blasts without notification or voluntary agreement does not ensure informed consent.
  • Subscribing journalists to email blasts without informed consent does not treat them as ends.
  • Subscribing journalists to email blasts without informed consent is wrong.

Email recipients should have expressly signed up with you. It is not recommended that senders ever purchase email lists, since there do not contain the express permission of recipients. All sorts of bad things can happen: poor in-boxing rates, poor opens and clicks, high unsubscribe and spam complaint rates, and even blacklisting of your business domain.


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