Every sender, big or small, should have the ability to suppress sending to any particular email address. They must, absolutely, be able to stop sending mail to anyone for any reason. Not only is this a legal requirement in every jursidiction that has laws about email marketing, it’s just good business sense.
What happens when marketers fail to be able to suppress email addresses? At some point they’re going to mail someone who gets annoyed enough with them to make it public that they are too incompetent to run an email program.
This happened to the folks over at spamfighter.com recently. They have been spamming Neil Schwartzman (spamfighter, Executive director of CAUCE North America, Director of Standards and Certification at ReturnPath) since somewhere in 2007. Yes, really, 2007. Neil has asked them politely to stop spamming him. He’s explained he’s not actually using their software. They appear to be incapable of running a suppression list, despite telling him 3 times that they have removed his address.
Showing much more restraint than I would have with a sender who couldn’t stop sending me email, Neil gave them years to fix their process before blogging about his experiences. Instead of fixing their broken process they instead responded to his blog post insisting their mail wasn’t spam because they weren’t sending Viagra mail or 3rd party offers.
We can argue about the definition of opt-in, we can argue about whether registration is permission, we can argue about a lot of things, but when the recipients says “stop sending me email” and a sender says “we’ll stop sending you email” and then fails to actually stop sending email I think the recipient is fully justified in calling the email spam. Sorry spamfighter.com, your process is broken and your inability to fix it 2 years after the brokenness was brought to your attention does not give anyone a good impression.
Every email sender should have the ability to stop sending mail to recipients. If that’s not currently possible with your technology, it should be a very high development priority.