Acceptable Email Address Acquisition Methods

This article will detail what address acquisition methods are acceptable or unacceptable, as dictated by our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

To ensure our platform maintains a very high reputation for the messages we send we have established strict limitations on the methods our customers are permitted to use for acquiring the addresses they contact for email marketing purposes.

This article is not intended to replace what is stated in our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), only to help explain it. In the event of conflict between this article and the AUP, the AUP will supersede. If you have questions over whether or not your address list is permitted to be contacted via SocketLabs, please contact our support team.


The following lists and methods of acquisition are unacceptable according to our AUP and cannot be used with your SocketLabs account. Usage of any of the below methods is not permitted and will result in suspension and potential cancellation of service. This list is not exhaustive and is intended to provide examples of prohibited list collection practices.

Any method of obtaining addresses without explicit consent from the email address owner is not allowed under our Acceptable Use Policy. 

  • Purchased Or Rented Lists: These are lists gathered by a third party that you rent or buy outright, often full of poor quality addresses that will harm your reputation. Sellers may claim they sell "opt in lists", but this is still considered a purchased list. Opt-in consent is not something that can be bought or sold. It is an agreement exclusively between two parties.
  • Scraped Lists: These are lists that involve bots or people combing through websites gathering email addresses, often including addresses in the "Contact Us" or "Support" portions of business websites.
  • Third Party Lists: These are any lists that you do not generate or create on your own. Purchased lists are a subset of this category. These lists, however, do not always need to be purchased as they can be acquired for free. 
  • Social Media Lists: This is a method of acquiring email addresses that you did not personally gain consent to use, by downloading or collecting addresses from your friends and contacts on social media.
  • False Opt-In: This is when people willingly give you their email addresses for something, such as a raffle/contest or a sign-up, but you fail to properly inform them that they are also opting in for email marketing/newsletters.


Acceptable lists and acquisition methods do not violate our AUP. We only accept lists populated with valid opt-ins by the customer signing up with explicit knowledge that they will be receiving newsletters and/or email marketing. 

  • True Opt-In: Running a raffle or contest and including a clear statement that upon signing up for a raffle or contest, they are also opting in to receive newsletters or marketing emails.
  • Trade Show Lists: Lists acquired at a trade show or convention, obtained by scanning a badge at a booth or through attendees consenting to the trade show providing their email address to participating vendors.
  • Incentivized Opt-in: These opt-ins involve the customer joining your mailing list in exchange for a small discount or future free offers.
  • Survey/Call Center Opt-In: In this example, you may be offering a survey after a customer service interaction, and at the end you ask if the customer would like to sign up for newsletters or future promotions.
  • Store check out Opt-In: These opt-ins involve offering a customer the option to receive newsletters and/or promotions during a transaction. These can come in the form of pop-ups during the checkout process in an e-commerce transaction. This is also applicable to physical transactions, such as at grocery stores or clothing stores.
  • Endorsement Opt-Ins: This involves a known business or brand promoting your business from within their own legitimate newsletter or advertisement to a customer that opted in with them. These endorsements usually involve linking to your site where you can provide a form for the user or customer to opt into receiving your email directly.
  • Download Opt-In: Present users with an option to sign up as their download is processing.

While there are many more ways to legitimately acquire and populate an opt-in list, there is one key factor present in all of the above situations: you are explicitly establishing the fact that the customer will be receiving mail specifically from you should they agree to opt-in. 

How to Determine if an Acquisition Method is Compliant

The easiest way to determine if your mail is in compliance with our Acceptable Use Policy is to ask, "Does this person know who I am and are they expecting to hear from me?". If the answer is no, it's not in compliance with policy. If the answer is yes, it's compliant with our policy.