Original posted by Salsa Labs

by Brett Schenker, Senior Deliverability Manager, Salsa

From health class many years ago, I remember their harping on the fact that when it comes to sex, it’s not just the person you’re sleeping with, but the people they’ve slept with. Email is similar when it comes to lists that are not “opt-in”. List swaps and list purchasers can lead to a STD, Spam
Transmitted Disease.

When you get lists from sources that aren’t opt-in, you have no idea where their list came from. So, you’re taking the risk that they themselves have a dirty list. Or, part of their list might eventually turn dirty.

Here’s an example:

Org A gets a list from Org B, but Org B got lists from numerous organizations including Org C. Org C didn’t clean their list and passed along spam traps (here’s more about spam traps). Some spam traps don’t immediately catch you, but eventually they will. Congrats, you just got a STD.

The proper way to do list swaps is to have the other organization send on your behalf, extolling why you’re awesome, and you do the same. That way, only the people who are very interested will sign up for you and them.

Not only do you protect yourself from spam issues, but you’ll get less unsubscribes, less complaints and less people ignoring your email. Remember someone not opening and reading your emails has an adverse affect.

So before you upload new users into your database, practice safe list swaps.

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