With the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 in place, email marketers are significantly limited by what and who they can send emails to. However, it’s not illegal to send marketing emails to someone who has not specifically requested to join your email list. Many people buy email addresses of consumers to grow their email lists. This type of email marketing is called “cold emailing.” While these consumers are usually less likely to engage with your business than those who opted-in to your list, the process can still generate leads. But you should know that many of the most popular email marketing platforms won’t let you send emails to people who didn’t intentionally subscribe to you. Constant Contact, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are some of these email providers who don’t allow purchased lists.

Before reading the rest of this blog post, please note that it’s not advisable to purchase lists and conduct email marketing to people who haven’t actually subscribed. This blog post is isn’t designed to encourage cold emailing, but rather to help you proceed with email marketing, even if you have contacts who haven’t subscribed. To learn how to acquire hire quality email addresses, read our blog post titled The Best Ways to Grow Your Email List.

Now, let’s discuss the platforms which do allow you to send cold emails, and how to avoid CAN-SPAM Act complaints.

marketing emails

Platforms Which Allow You to Legally Send Cold Emails for Marketing


SalesHandy sends automated cold emails and tracks your email campaigns. It comes with features such as link tracking, document tracking, email tracking, auto-follow-up, and more. Additionally, it has multiple trigger options like not replied and not opened so you can be sure you have everything at your fingertips.

To ensure better customer engagement, the platform provides tools to monitor customer behavior and evaluate sales performance. When sending emails, you can set time intervals to safeguard your inbox from spam filters. You can also schedule the campaign when the recipient is likely to open it. But what happens when you’ve exhausted the email sending limit? The campaign will switch to waiting mode.

Another notable feature is the tracking option. You can easily monitor and share your documents. Whenever the viewer opens your document, you can get a real-time desktop notification. Apart from that, you can track the document when the prospect opens it. This helps you better understand prospects’ behaviors that align with your sales strategy. Be sure to select the date and preferred time zone. This helps to ensure your recipients will be online and active when you send them emails.

You can also see your scheduled email in the “recent activity feed.” Still, you can set the expiry time of the document so the recipient can only see the information after a specific time. Whether you want file-sharing or live meetings, this platform gets the job done. The latest stats suggest that personalized emails improve the conversion rate by 10%.


Prospect.io is a simple email prospecting tool that allows you to find prospects and reach out to them. You can power up your prospecting efforts and measure everything with analytics. But what makes this user-friendly tool unique is that it aims at reaching out to more clients. Prospect.io focuses on building your email list with their easy-to-use list building tool.

The other noteworthy feature is tracking the prospect. Needless to say, you can filter the prospects based on job title or industry. Throughout your campaign, you can monitor each prospect and keep your list organized. But first, you have to name your campaign before you compose the emails. Along with that, you can select options like the day the email is sent. Even better, you can indicate whether you want an email reply or not. Another great feature is that you can see how many prospects respond to your emails.

Email Marketing Stats

In the reports section, you can view the statistics on the number of emails sent. You can also see the number of conversions and bounces and select a specific timeframe to review. Unlike the other platforms, Prospect.io comes with extensions that come in handy when you want to create a list and add articles. Of course, the user-friendly interface allows you to send emails to groups. This is a time-saver if you want to reach out to a wider audience.


LemList offers an affordable way to reach out to prospects. It’s the first email platform that allows users to generate images and videos. This makes email content much more engaging and high-quality. With their tracking feature, you can boost your engagement and grow your leads. LemList’s analytics can help you improve your email content as you can get to know what your audience prefers.

Other features include click tracking, sending algorithm, and campaign wizard. But that’s not all; you can set up sequences of emails or stop the campaign when the prospect opens an email. Their system can differentiate out-of-office messages and genuine responses. This helps you acquire more accurate analytics. Keep in mind that split testing is key to improving the metrics. The entire platform is built for users who want to edit their campaigns. About 50% of customers will ignore an email that isn’t personalized.

What You Should Know with Regards to Spam Rules with Marketing Emails

Unfortunately, some companies exploit email marketing and send spam. These acts could be seen as criminal activity according to the CAN-SPAM Act. Other times, the content may be good, but the sender may have disregarded the rules that revolve around email marketing. This brings us to the question, is cold emailing a gray area?

You can send marketing emails to business contacts you don’t even know. It’s 100% legal as long as it meets the CAN-SPAM requirements. The truth is that spam emails account for 45% of all emails. In 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act was enacted, which gives the recipient of the email the right to stop receiving emails. This applies to electronic messages whose primary purpose is to promote commercial products/services. So, how do you ensure you remain CAN-SPAM compliant?

email penalty

Don’t use misleading header information in marketing emails

A prospect has the right to know where an email is coming from. The “reply to” section should represent the person who has sent the message. Also, the routing information must be clear, including the domain name. You should give the recipient an option to email you back.

Never use deceptive subject lines

The easiest way to get people hooked is by using intriguing subject lines. Make sure the subject line represents the content of the message. Saying something untrue or misleading in the subject line, just to get a person to open the email though, could get you in trouble. So, no bait and switch with subject lines. Whatever you use in the subject line needs to accurately portray the contents of the email.

Give the subscribers an opportunity to opt-out

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that you allow the target audience to unsubscribe anytime. They can decide they want to hear more about you or opt-out when they’ve had enough. Some businesses use small fonts to ensure the subscribers don’t see the unsubscribe button. But, since email marketing is all about customer choice, you should focus on keeping the content interesting and valuable for your recipients, rather than making it difficult for them to unsubscribe.

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You should highlight the message as an ad

To make sure the subscribers aren’t deceived, the CAN-SPAM Act requires that you identify the message as an advertisement (if that’s what it is). Nowadays, some marketers use inconspicuous methods to show customers the email is an advertisement. This should clearly be avoided because consumers won’t want to work with you if they don’t trust you. With marketing, it is always best to be honest and have high integrity. This is even more important when sending cold emails.

Honor marketing email opt-out requests

Once you receive opt-out requests, you should honor them within 10 business days. Make sure your spam filter is not stopping these requests from coming through. This is one of the most important rules with the CAN-SPAM Act, and you can face severe fines if you don’t follow it. So, even though it may sting, be sure you remove people from your list if they ask to be removed. It could sting a whole lot more if you don’t follow this requirement.

Sending Marketing Emails

Email marketing is a powerful tool for promoting brands and converting prospects into actual clients. When you adhere to CAN-SPAM regulations, you’ll take your business to the next level. We hope this blog post showed you some ways to ensure you are following the laws that are set in place when sending marketing emails. If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you get your digital marketing figured out.



Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More


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