In a post at Email Marketing Reports, Mark Brownlow considers the argument that opt-in permission isn't strictly necessary. "The definition of spam has shifted broadly from 'email not asked for' to 'email that is not wanted,' implying that relevant [or] valuable email will not be considered spam," he explains.

But you're making a mistake, he warns, if you believe all nonsubscribing recipients will have the same reaction to your messages—however relevant they might be.

"The more you move away from the permission optimum (explicit opt-in), the greater the proportion of your list who will see your emails as spam," he says. "Improving the relevancy/value of those emails will compensate in part for permission sacrifices, but it clearly won't eliminate all 'this is spam' reactions." And remember—ISPs tend to be even less forgiving.

Brownlow recommends that, instead of taking a permission gamble, you adopt strategies like these for higher-volume campaigns:

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