Last Updated on June 15, 2019. This anti-spam policy is effective immediately.
At First Choice Realty of Ohio, LLC, we take permission very seriously. By agreeing to our Terms of Service and using either email or SMS, you are also agreeing to this anti-spam policy.
While the CAN-SPAM laws are a step in the right direction for reducing the spam problem, we don’t feel they go far enough. Our definition of spam goes beyond the laws in most countries and encompasses what we believe to be true permission in direct marketing.
Spam is any email or SMS text message you send to someone who hasn’t given you their direct permission to contact them in that manner.
What kind of email addresses are OK to send to with Email?
To send email to anyone using Email, you must have clearly obtained their permission. This could be done through:
- An email newsletter subscribe form on your web site.
- An opt-in checkbox on a form. This checkbox must not be checked by default, the person completing the form must willingly select the checkbox to indicate they want to hear from you.
- If someone completes an offline form like a survey or enters a competition, you can only contact them if it was explained to them that you would be contacting them by email AND they ticked a box indicating they would like you to contact them.
- Customers who have purchased from you within the last 2 years.
- If someone gives you their business card and you have explicitly asked for permission to add them to your list, you can contact them. If they dropped their business card in a fishbowl at a trade show, there must be a sign indicating they will be contacted by email about that specific topic.
Basically, you can only ever email anyone who has clearly given you permission to email them specifically about the subject you’re contacting them about.
What kind of email addresses are NOT OK to send to with Shark Mail?
Anything outside the examples above doesn’t equal permission in our eyes, but here are some examples to make sure we’re crystal clear. By using email, you agree not to import or send to any email address which:
- You do not have explicit, provable permission to contact in relation to the topic of the email you’re sending.
- You bought, loaned, rented or in any way acquired from a third party, no matter what they claim about quality or permission. You need to obtain permission yourself.
- You haven’t contacted via email in the last 2 years. Permission doesn’t age well and these people have either changed email address or won’t remember giving their permission in the first place.
- You scraped or copy and pasted from the web. Just because people publish their email address doesn’t mean they want to hear from you.
Sure, some of these people might have given you their email address, but what’s missing is your permission to email them commercial messages. Blasting promotional emails to any of these people won’t be effective and will more than likely see your email marked as spam by many of your recipients.
What content MUST I include in my email?
Every email you send using Email must include the following:
- A single-click unsubscribe link that instantly removes the subscriber from your list. Once they unsubscribe, you can never email them again.
- The name and physical address of the sender. If you’re sending an email for your client, you’ll need to include your client’s details instead.
What steps MUST I follow when using Shark SMS?
- SMS only allows verified opt-in subscriptions, you may not use the services to send unsolicited, unexpected or unwanted text messages. Users will opt-in by texting a designated keyword to 12345. Only users that opt-in in this manner may use the services.
- Users may opt-out at any time by texting “STOP” to 12345. Users can get help at any time by texting “HELP” to 12345.
- You may not use 3rd party lists or send messages to anyone who has no expressly opted-in to receive messages.
- You may not text your subscribers about a topic other than the topic the subscribed to hear from you about.
In the end, it’s really common sense. Take off your marketing hat and put yourself in your recipient’s shoes. If they don’t recognize who you are or aren’t interested in what you’re sending, they’ll think you’re a spammer. It’s that simple.
If you have any questions about our Anti-Spam Policy, or if you want to report spamming activity by one of our customers, please contact our abuse department at: