How do I handle contact details, email content, and sending results responsibly?

When working in email marketing, you need to be aware of certain rules due to the close contact you have with customers. For example, you have access to personal data of your contacts that you need to handle with care. Additionally, your email marketing strategy can directly influence your contacts, and it is important to handle this ethically. Therefore, there are a number of rules that you need to follow within your email marketing strategy regarding the collection of contact information, the content of your emails, and your delivery results.

This article covers:

How do I responsibly collect data from my contacts?

Mandatory to ask for permission.

When you have contacts subscribe, they must be informed that you will be sending them emails. You also need to let them know how often they can expect to receive these emails. In addition to being obligated to inform your contacts about this, clearly communicating this information can reduce the number of bounces, unsubscribes, and complaints. This enhances your delivery reputation.

Importing existing contacts

In MailBlue, you can import existing contacts from other programs without the obligation to use a double opt-in. It is important to be aware that all existing contacts must have previously given permission to receive your emails. Contacts who have never directly given permission to receive emails should not be manually imported into MailBlue.

Paid lists, rented lists, borrowed lists, etc.

No form of paid, rented, or borrowed lists may be used within MailBlue. If you have not obtained direct permission from a contact to receive emails, you may not use our email marketing software.

Using online and offline collected contacts

You must have direct permission from each contact on your list to send them emails. This includes email addresses collected online. If you collect contacts offline (such as on paper), you must receive written permission from them to email them. A business card from a contact does not serve as an opt-in. The email address on this card may not be imported into MailBlue, and no emails may be sent to this email address.

Examples of good and bad lists

Example Yes, no, maybe Explanation

I have purchased a list of high-quality opt-in contacts.


No. No form of paid, rented, or borrowed lists may be used within MailBlue. It doesn't matter if the list provider claims that the contacts have opted in or how much money you spent on the list. Paid lists are not allowed in any form.

I have a form on my website where customers can sign up.


Yes. This is a good and legitimate way to build your contact list. If you have a list of contacts who have left their details via a form and have verified that they want to receive your emails, you can import them into our software without additional verification.

I am switching email marketing service providers. Yes

Yes. When switching email marketing software providers, you can export the list from your old software and import it into your new software. However, you must be sure that the contacts have opted in.

I have used a computer or mobile device at a trade show (or other event) where individuals can sign up for updates. Yes Yes. This is a good way to build your contact list and ensure that your contacts are verified. For example, you can use a computer, iPad, or other mobile device to present your sign-up form. When people leave their information, they can immediately give permission to receive mailings. This is how you build a high-quality contact list in a good and legitimate way.
I have collected business cards at trade shows (or any other type of event). No

No. If you collect business cards at a trade show, they probably won't mind you contacting them, but they have not given permission to be added to a mailing list and receive regular emails. We recommend contacting individuals whose business cards you have through your regular email provider instead of an email marketing software service. In this email, you can mention your newsletter and include a link to your subscription form, allowing them to give consent to be added to your mailing list.

I have a list of customers who have purchased a product or service from my company. Maybe

Maybe. You can email your customers as long as their last purchase was within the past 12 months.

I collect business cards in my restaurant or store.


Maybe. If you clearly indicate that they will receive marketing-related emails by leaving their business cards in the jar (or how you collect their cards), it is allowed to send them mailings. If they only leave their details with the expectation of receiving a free dinner (or other reward), this is not allowed.

I have a client for whom I would like to send emails. I will email on behalf of my client to his customer base.


Maybe. As long as a list of contacts is collected in a proper manner (as explained in our terms), it will be fine to email them. However, if you experience a lot of bounces, it indicates that your client does not have an acceptable list, and your account will likely be placed under scrutiny, which has negative consequences for your sending reputation.

I have obtained a list of email addresses through my local chamber of commerce (or another organization).


No. You must have explicit permission from each contact to send them emails. Obtaining a list from another organization such as the chamber of commerce, or another organization within the industry is the same as obtaining a paid list. Your contacts have not directly given permission to receive your mailings.

I have rented a list of contacts. No No. No form of paid, rented, or borrowed lists may be used within MailBlue. It doesn't matter if the list provider claims that the contacts have opted in or how much money you have spent on the list. Paid lists are not allowed in any form.

How do I responsibly handle the content of my emails?

Prohibited content

There are several types of content that we do not allow in your emails in MailBlue. There are no exceptions to these rules, except for the exceptions explicitly stated below. This content is not allowed so that MailBlue, as an email marketing service, can strive for the highest possible sending reputation for all MailBlue users.

Please note: Strict rules apply to sending SMS messages from MailBlue. There is a joint requirement from telecom companies regarding this. If the content of an SMS goes against the rules, it will result in a fine of $10,000.

The types of content that are not allowed in emails and SMS messages are:

  • Pornographic content
  • Sexually suggestive emails
  • Promotion of illegal substances
  • Gambling
  • Dietary supplements
    • Dietary supplements that are allowed in emails include vitamins A-Z, minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and proteins. Dietary supplements that are not allowed include, for example, creatine, weight loss aids, or sports supplements that claim to stimulate immediate muscle growth.
    • It is also important that the focus is on the role of a nutrient or food ingredient intended to affect the normal structure or function of the human body, for example: 'calcium builds strong bones'.
  • Pills or purchasing drugs online
    • Substances that help with disorders are allowed. Making claims about curing a disease is not allowed. Therefore, avoid words such as cure, remedies, treatment, cure, and medications.
    • It is also not allowed to mention any form of recreational drugs in your mailings.
    • Furthermore, be cautious when mentioning CBD oils in your emails as CBD oils may contain a high level of THC/CBD. This is an example of what would fall within the margin.
    • If your business is a '3rd party' in terms of selling pills, it is important that what you sell is based on scientific research and is not new or controversial. If you develop your own product, there is often more flexibility since you are directly responsible for the quality of the product and benefit from it. In this case, we recommend contacting our support team.
  • Tips for trading securities on the stock market
    Tips for buying and selling securities on the stock market to profit from price fluctuations during trading are not allowed in your emails.
  • Forex trading tips
    Tips to profit from changes that can increase or decrease the value of a currency compared to others.
  • Work At Home, Pyramids
  • Tips for making quick money
  • Internet loans or payday loans
  • Libido-enhancing supplements
  • Escort and dating services

If you are unsure whether the content you want to include in your emails or SMS messages is allowed, I recommend contacting our helpdesk to prevent any adverse consequences.

Unsubscribe link

You are required to have an unsubscribe link in every email to comply with our terms and the law. We automatically include an unsubscribe link in your emails to ensure you do not violate the law.

Sender information (physical address)

You must add a complete and valid physical address to every email you send. This should be the physical address of the individual sender, or the company from which the mailings are sent. You can adjust the physical address per campaign.

You can optionally design your own footer where you add an unsubscribe link and physical address. If you add an unsubscribe link and a link with the physical address in your designed block, the default footer will automatically disappear.


How do I responsibly handle my sending results?

A high bounce rate

If you have a high bounce rate for your campaigns, this may be a sign that you do not have direct permission to email your list, or that the process in which you collect your contacts does not comply with our terms or industry guidelines. Accounts with an abnormal bounce rate may be placed under supervision. If you have an above-average bounce rate, you should review your subscription process to ensure that your contacts know what types of emails they will receive (and how often) when they sign up.

A high unsubscribe rate

We continuously analyse the unsubscribe rates of your campaigns. Accounts with an abnormal amount of unsubscribers may be placed under supervision. If you have an above-average unsubscribe rate, you should review your subscription process to ensure that your contacts know what types of emails they will receive (and how often) when they sign up.

A high complaint rate

We have relationships with all major Internet Service Providers to ensure the highest sending reputation. Analysing and tracking complaints from MailBlue users is part of maintaining the relationship with Internet Service Providers. With this data, we can quickly determine if an account has an abnormal complaint rate. Accounts with an abnormal complaint rate are placed under supervision. By setting strict conditions, MailBlue as an email marketing service can strive for the highest possible sending reputation for users who handle their email marketing lawfully and experience few complaints.

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