This may prove to be a bit contentious. Most professional B2B* email marketers (and certainly most businesses offering online email marketing tools) are fixated about the quality of contact lists and the qualification of targets you are, or are not, allowed to send your emails to. In principle, if you already have an active, current relationship with a contact who has specifically opted-in to you sending marketing messages by email then they will be happy. But isn’t marketing about ‘Spreading the word’, getting your message to a wider audience to inform and enlighten? Aren’t this paragraph and the last one at odds with one another? In fact, I would suggest that email marketing system providers set these somewhat draconian rules in order to address their real issue; They don’t want to be flagged as spammers, or even emailers with a less than professional standing. This is entirely understandable. If emails sent through their systems generate excessive unsubscribe rates or, even worse, actual complaints from recipients then clearly reputations are going to be tarnished and their whole business put in jeopardy. These outcomes must be avoided. But if you send a marketing message to someone who is going to be less than happy to receive it then it isn’t going to do your business reputation much good either. Sending an irrelevant message to someone even if they are opted-in isn’t terribly helpful! However, I would suggest that rather than concentrating on active opt-in as a priority focussing on only sending relevant messages to a well targeted audience is by far the best approach – and it works! Here is a case study demonstrating the point *Official Regulations (as opposed to the rules of individual email marketing services) are more flexible for B2B email marketing than for B2C. Much of what I say above has most application to B2B marketing. If you are targeting consumers then working with properly ‘opted-in’ target contact lists is the only practical way to proceed. However, the principles of Targeting and Relevance are universal. It is always important to ensure that you are not in breach of official regulations.