(updated September, 2012)
Pinpointe is for sending and tracking permission-based, opt-in email marketing campaigns. If you’re taking the time to read this, you’re probably not a spammer. But legitimate email marketers get accused of spamming all the time and we want to avoid that for our customers. We are aware of our responsibilities as a good Internet citizen and are dedicated to protecting the privacy rights of other Internet citizens. So, if you use Pinpointe, you must read and understand our Anti-SPAM policies and you must agree to our Terms and Conditions. There is no such thing as a ‘purchased opt-in list.’ So if you purchased an email list of any kind, please do not upload it to Pinpointe or plan to send email to those contacts through Pinpointe, as this is a violation of our Anti-SPAM policy and you will not be eligible for a refund when your service is cancelled.
There are four ways by which a customer may violate our Anti-Spam policy:
- By sending spam as defined on this page – our Anti-SPAM policies, which can be found here.
- By sending content that is prohibited by our policies, which includes sending unsolicited email.
- By not responding properly to an inquiry from a Pinpointe staff member about the source of an email list or email address.
- By not including the required elements on every campaign sent through our email marketing service.
We may determine whether a customer is spamming. There are a number of factors Pinpointe uses to determine whether a customer is spamming. These may include: violating our guidelines, experiencing excessive spam complaints form recipients (“hitting the ‘this is SPAM’ button,) complaints sent to abuse report addresses, SpamCop reports, complaints sent to any of Pinpointe’s upstream providers, and evaluating a customer’s email campaign statistics and recipient addresses.
How Pinpointe Defines Spam
Spam is any promotion, information or solicitation that is sent to a person via email who has not given you their explicit permission to send email to them. Any email campaign that does not conform to the CAN-SPAM requirements, and/or email that includes prohibited content, and/or is similar to any of the SPAM examples below, is SPAM.
Examples of Spam
- Any email message that is sent to a recipient who had previously signed up to receive newsletters, product information or any other type of bulk email, but later opted-out by indicating to the sender that they did not want to receive an additional email, then that email is spam.
- Any email message that is sent to a recipient without a way for a person to opt-out or request that future mailings not be sent to them, is spam.
- Any email message that is sent to non-specific addresses such as: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or other general addresses.
- Any email messages sent to a purchased list of email contacts.
- Any email message that does not have a valid email address in the From Line is spam.
- Any email that does not include a valid physical address. A phone number is also recommended (but not required).
- Any email message that contains any false or misleading information in the header, subject line or message itself is spam.
- Any email that says you can earn $1000’s each week from home is spam.
- Any anonymous email or emails that do not contain the required elements. Since spammers often use anonymous email accounts to do their work, you can’t create a trial account using some anonymous @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, etc. email account.
- An email campaign that is sent and later receives what Pinpointe deems to be ‘excessive’ spam complaints from recipients, may be considered spam. If this occurs, you may be contacted by Pinpointe support with a request to make specific changes to your email before sending additional campaigns.
Prohibited Content Spam
Please don’t use Pinpointe to send anything offensive, to promote anything illegal, or to harass anyone. The following list includes examples of content that are prohibited:
- Pornography, adult content, escort or dating services, or content promoting adult novelty items.
- Material that exploits children or discloses personal information of children under 18.
- Materials selling or promoting illegal products, drugs or substances.
- Material that is grossly offensive or threatening in any way.
- Content that introduces viruses, worms, harmful code and/or Trojan horses on the Internet.
- Content that violates the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Law.
- Material that encourages violence against any governments, groups or individuals.
- Affiliate marketing or multi-level marketing products and/or services.
- List broker or list rental services
What is Not Spam
Below are examples of content that is *not* considered SPAM:
- Anytime an organization sends a mass email message to its present and/or past customers, it is NOT spam provided that the organization offers a way for the customer to opt-out of future mailings and that the customer did not previously opt-out.
- An email message is NOT spam if the recipients in anyway requested email to be sent to them from the sender or the sender’s organization and they have not opted-out of your list.
- An email message is NOT spam when sent to recipients who agreed to receive information or promotions from a partner organization (as long as there is a clear opt-out option).
- An email message is not spam if it abides by Pinpointe’s terms of service and is sent to a recipient who attended a show, event, function, webinar or similar, and they have provided you with their email address and contact information with the understanding that they may receive future correspondence and the recipient did not previously opt-out.
- A message is NOT spam if it is sent to addresses that have been properly collected using opt-in or double-optin policies from your website, or from a partner site, or through a co-registration site/form, so long as the recipients are made aware at the time of sign up that they may receive emails from third parties.
- All emails must include a relevant title, from and reply-to address that is a valid email address, and the bricks ‘n mortar, physical address and phone number.
Any customer that sends spam is in violation of Pinpointe’s Anti-Spam policy.
Avoiding Spam Related Problems
It’s in our best interest to keep our system clean, because our reputation and our Customers’ deliverability depends on it. If you are a spammer and do not abide by our terms of service, we reserve the right to terminate your account immediately and without refund. So here’s what we do:
Required Elements on Every Mass Email
We require that each email message sent out from Pinpointe includes an easy way for subscribers to remove themselves via an unsubscribe link. If a recipient contacts our offices and requests to be manually removed from a customer’s list, we will manually unsubscribe the recipient from our customer’s account.
Every email marketing campaign sent through Pinpointe must contain:
- An accurate and proper subject line.
- A valid Unsubscribe / Opt-out link to all campaigns. This is required. Removing this from a message is a violation of Pinpointe’s policies.
- The sender’s valid postal address.
- The sender’s valid phone (optional but highly recommended)
- Appropriate content – please see below.
We also require that each email message comply with CAN-SPAM laws.
Right to Review Email Marketing Campaigns and Contact Lists
Feedback Loops w/ISPs
Pinpointe has established relationships with most major ISPs. We’re on feedback loops (FBL) and reporting systems with several these ISPs and anti-spam organizations, including:
- United Online (Juno/NetZero, etc.)
When a recipient clicks their “this is spam” button in their email program, a FBL report is sent to us. We analyze the data, trace it back to the sender that caused the complaint, remove the complainer from the sender’s list, and track future complaints about that campaign. If complaints exceed a reasonable threshold based on list size, we take appropriate to keep our servers clean and off blacklists. To prevent this from happening to you, please read and ensure you abide by our terms of service and our anti-spam policies.
Pinpointe’s Complaint Response Process
We are here to help our customers maximize the efficiency of their email marketing campaigns, educate them as to the best email practices, and help them to avoid spam complaints. If you have any questions or feedback regarding our anti-spam policy, please do not hesitate to contact our abuse and SPAM department directly at:
abuse [at] pinpointe.com
How we deal with complaints
Even though a customer may not be sending spam, complaints may still be received by Pinpointe from a customer’s recipients. It is Pinpointe’s policy to respond to every abuse complaint, so that the complainant knows his/her address was not harvested, sold or otherwise improperly added to a customer’s lists. The Pinpointe Abuse staff takes the following steps anytime a complaint is received:
- Contacts the Email Manager for the customer’s account with a Pinpointe Abuse Inquiry. This inquiry will ask the customer to confirm the list source, in general, and also to provide all specific information available regarding the particular email address in question. Customers should respond within two business days of receiving an Abuse Inquiry from Pinpointe. Failure to respond to the Abuse Inquiry is in itself a violation of this policy. Failure to provide all requested information about the email address in question is a violation of this policy. The customer may not respond directly to the complainant without prior approval from Pinpointe’s Abuse staff.
- The Pinpointe Abuse team reviews the customer’s response and the entire complaint and determines whether or not the customer is in compliance with this policy.
- Pinpointe will respond to the complainant. As long as the customer has been adhering to this policy, Pinpointe will respond to the complainant and reassure him that his email address has been unsubscribed from future mailings. We carbon copy the customer on our response to the complainant.
- Should the customer be found to be in violation of this policy, the customer will receive a spam determination response from our Abuse team with specific information related to the violation.
Please Report Bad Senders
If you are reporting SPAM, please forward the contents of the offending information, including all header information to the following address:
abuse [at] pinpointe.com
We will respond directly within 48 hours.