There's an interesting discussion going on on the MarketingProfs discussion boards after one user posted the following message:
"It seems to be the opinion of many participants in this forum that unsolicited email is not something which "reputable companies" will do. Many have suggested that marketers create content-based web sites and build an opt-in list - and many consultants who participate in this forum can help companies do just that.
Yet many who visit the forum seem to want to send unsolicted emails. Unsolicited emails are legal under certain conditions in the US. Small companies may not have the marketing budget or the time to create and maintain elaborate sites to become "thought leaders".
I'm not interested in hearing your rant about SPAM. What I am interested to know is: where do you personally draw the line, between "acceptable" unsolicted email, and "unacceptable" unsolicited email?
For example, I subscribe to eFax, and can receive FAXes for free - but as a subscriber to the service (which I highly recommend) I occasionally get an unsolicted email, which I'm happy to glance at and delete. I know that the sender must pay eFax to send the message, and I consider the companies reputable and proper for sending these.
Also, if I have my email address posted on a web site, and someone reads my web page, feels we have a reason to communicate, and sends me a short text-only email with a link to their site, I typically appreciate their efforts.
Where do you draw the line - as a sender, and as a receiver of unsolicited email?"