I’m a bit of a compliance hound, likely due to my past life as a Compliance Manager, and other life situations where I knew things were headed in the wrong direction but I couldn’t steer the ship! 🙂
When it comes to skirting email marketing rules, I know it’s easy to think – well, everyone is doing it. And you may be right. But think of a stop sign. Many people roll through that stop, even though they know they should come to a complete stop. You can’t tell the cop that catches you – well, Sir, the car in front of me did it.
Also, keep in mind that spam complaints are evaluated based on your list size. One complaint per 5000 (5k) is considered the norm for spam purposes. So, if you have less than 5000 people on your list, even one complaint can take you over the threshold.
This all sounds like a pain. But the client I had who had less than 500 people on her list, received two spam complaints that she couldn’t prove were compliant (because they weren’t) and her IP address was banned from the email marketing system she was using. And then she found out that this information was shared with other email marketing providers and so she was pretty much done with any email marketing from home. She had to hire an outsourced company to do her marketing for her and use a different domain.
So, yeah, it is a pain. Not worth the risk.
Read a bit more here and here.