The old direct marketing saying, “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission,”, couldn’t be further from the truth in email marketing.
In many respects, direct marketing is like email marketing, but not when it comes to adding names to an email list and assuming it’s okay unless the holder of that address says otherwise. Of course, your adding names without permission is not CAN-Spam compliant, and therefore not kosher. But it goes beyond that.
Being cavalier by adding names to an email list without permission also hurts your reputation big time. Other list owners talk among themselves and identify those who are suspected of breaking these rules. Aside from legal exposure, wise guys who add names without permission can also leave themselves open to revenge, which can put their whole list in jeopardy.
I’ve heard horror stories of how irritated addressees can take vengeance on the list owner.
Believe me, it isn’t worth risking the whole list for possible incremental gain. In this case, it is far easier to ask permission than it is to ask forgiveness.