What are some tactics that are considered "dirty" for email marketing?

Answer

Bob Parsons (President, Small Business Websites, LLC)
Misleading Subject Lines would be considered dirty. It is possible to craft a subject line making the email appear it comes from a friend, when it's just a marketing email. Same goes for the From field. Any kind of deception in the body text is considered dirty.

Buying email lists from anybody is dirty. Any marketing email that you send, as a business, should be a result of an opt-in on the part of the recipient.

There's some teeth to the rules now. If you don't follow the rules of the CAN-SPAM act, recipients of marketing emails will not likely do business with you, and you can be heavily fined.
2 Additional Answers
Henry Schuck (Senior VP of Sales & General Counsel, DiscoverOrg)
Everyone has their own definition of Dirty. Here is two things that I find people miss frequently that are required by CAN-SPAM: 1) Make sure to have an Unsubscribe link or explanation somewhere in the message - this is as easy as creating a Mail To link that mails back to you with the subject line 'Unsubscribe' a google search can show you the technical specifics of this. 2) You need to have a physical address of the entity sending the email message in the message as well.

There are more requirements of CAN-SPAM but those are the most missed - make sure you've got them covered.
Loren McDonald (VP, Industry Relations, Silverpop)
Lauren, well I'll go with the definition of 'dirty' in this context being like a 'cheap shot' in sports - a basketball player giving a hard, and unnecessary elbow to the face of a competitor. It negatively affects others.

So a few in this camp:
- Fake 'oops' emails - where there is/was no mistake, it is simply an attempt to trick the recipient into opening
- Making it hard to unsubscribe
- Hidden pre-checked boxes, not being transparent about the email relationship
- Assuming permission.

Loren McDonald
Silverpop
@LorenMcDonald
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I think the most common one is 'Share with your Network' (SWYN)... however, some other ideas include:

- asking email readers to join your ...
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