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Determine if it's OK to send marketing emails to a contact list

Last updated: March 29, 2021

Applies to:

All products and plans

You can send marketing emails to a contact list using HubSpot if all of the following statements are true:

1. Contacts personally provided their email address to your brand directly

Importing purchased or third-party lists where contacts have not explicitly opted into hearing from you can lead to poor email deliverability. Third-party lists include purchased, rented, or scraped email addresses. Common examples of third-party lists are publicly available lists, affiliate marketing lists, and event attendee lists. If you're marketing your business at an event or trade show, make sure you provide contacts a way to convert directly, such as through a form, badge, business card scanner, or another method of digital signup.

2. Contacts granted you permission to email them

Even if you acquired your contacts through an acceptable source, you still need verifiable opt-in consent to email them. Each contact must provide their own consent directly to your brand, and cannot be given via someone else or another company. The best way to obtain verifiable permission from a contact is to direct them to a form where they can provide express consent.

3. You emailed the contacts in the list within the past year

Over time, people tend to change their email addresses as they change companies, ISPs, and last names. Email addresses that are over a year old are much more likely to bounce, unsubscribe, and submit spam complaints than more recently acquired email addresses. 

Please note: email sends from HubSpot may not be used to determine which contacts are no longer valid. This list washing behavior will negatively impact your deliverability and HubSpot's shared email sending network. If you need to determine if you can still email certain contacts, use a list validation vendor to identify inactive contacts so you can remove them prior to your next send.

4. You have an accompanying unsubscribe or suppression list

Email lists should always come in twos. When you import a new contact list into HubSpot, you should also import an opt-out list from the same source. If you don't keep track of who opts out of receiving your emails, your original list may include unsubscribed contacts. Emailing unsubscribed contacts has a negative impact on your deliverability and may result in legal and financial penalties. 

 

If your contact lists don't meet the minimum criteria above, your account could be at risk of suspension.