This Is Why Your Email Marketing Account Can Get Banned

Marko Rojnica This Is Why Your Email Marketing Account Can Get Banned
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Do you enjoy using your email marketing platform? Or are you in the market for the perfect solution? While everyone’s making comparison blog posts showing you features and benefits of each one of the most popular tools, they are missing one very important point: Will the email marketing platform ban your account?

Right now, you’re probably wondering, “Why would they want to ban my account if I’m paying for their service?” Well, there are certain “acceptable and prohibited content” policies that could take your account down in a heartbeat. How do I know this?

The Day That I Got Banned

I learned it the hard way when I was working with a client whose industry is trading financial instruments. Little did we know, after we switched from AWeber to ConvertKit, that we weren’t allowed promoting our content through their email marketing platform. It was quite a shock because we already set up all the members, tags, automations, scheduled broadcasts, etc.

I don’t want you to have to go through this experience, so I’m making this post to show you the acceptable and prohibited content on 9 of the most popular email marketing platforms:

For all of these, I won’t state the obvious ones that are illegal, but content that is more common and wouldn’t be considered bannable for most people. So, let’s get started with the first one.

Constant Contact

Marko Rojnica Constant Contact

Link: Prohibited Content

Provides, sells or offers products, services or content frequently associated with spam, such as:

  • Online and direct pharmaceutical sales, including but not limited to health and sexual well-being products, prescription and counterfeit drugs;
  • Debt collections, credit repair and debt relief offerings;
  • Promotion of stocks or stock message boards;
  • Work-at-home offers promoting “get rich quick,” “build your wealth” and “financial independence;”
  • Pyramid schemes or multi-level channel, network and/or referral marketing (MLM) businesses used for prospecting or recruiting;
  • DJ/nightclub, event/club promotions/party lists; or
  • Odds making and betting/gambling services, including but not limited online poker, casino games, college and pro sporting events.
  • Cryptocurrency, including any form of digital currency.

Provides content or communicates with subscribers for the primary purpose of affiliate marketing, including but not limited to communications where there is no direct relationship with the product other than affiliate commissions, communications that contain multiple disparate affiliate links, or communications sent for the primary purpose of affiliate commissions. This prohibition would not apply to communications that include occasional affiliate links or links to products that are related to the business establishing the Constant Contact account.

Constant Contact doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #constantcontact


Link: Terms of Use (Section 4)

The following topics are prohibited on the Sendinblue platform:

  • Weight loss
  • Exchange of currencies, fraudulent shares and stock market transactions
  • Home job offers making “get rich fast” promises, financial packages and pyramid schemes
  • Sexually explicit pornography or e-commerce
  • Remedies for erectile problems
  • Hiring solicitation
  • Lists of a political character (consular, government lists, etc.) containing addresses of individuals who have not given their explicit consent to receive communications from an identified advertiser. The fact that an email address was given to a Consulate or Embassy shall not be considered as proof of an undertaking to opt-in.
  • Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

Accounts with the following activities will only be validated under certain conditions:

  • Clairvoyance, fortune telling and astrology
  • Gambling and other money games
  • Dating services
  • Communications to contacts acquired from social networks like LinkedIn and Viadeo

SendinBlue doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #sendinblue


Link: Terms (Section 3)

Additionally you agree not to: (a) use Drip in any manner to send emails with the following content: offer or suggest any illegal goods, xyz, xyz explicit material, advice, drugs, novelty items, or pharmaceutical information or products, credit repair services or opportunities, xyz or illegal xyz, free product/free sample giveaways, claim your money/benefit/assistance or similar, excessive third-party promotions, and “get rich quick” or similar content

In order to maintain strong deliverability for our customers the following categories are allowed but subject to additional monitoring. Traditionally these have had higher spam and unsubscribe rates so we do it to maintain strong deliverability for our customers.

  • Online trading, day trading, or stock market related content
  • Mortgages and loans
  • Gambling and/or betting
  • Nutritional, herbal, and vitamin supplements
  • Multi-level marketing
  • Dating or relationships
  • Real estate
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Horoscope reports

Drip doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #drip


Marko Rojnica ConvertKit

Link: Acceptable Use Policy

The following is considered “inappropriate use” of a ConvertKit account:

  • Content that in any way exploits minors under 18 years of age
  • Viruses, worms, phishing, malware, or any other potentially harmful software
  • Purchased Subscriber lists.
  • Disguised self-identity, website, or industry.
  • Products, services, or content associated with forex, trading or binary options.
  • Adult content that is non-educational or non-artistic in nature. 
  • Make-money-online or get rich quick schemes.
  • Gambling or betting related sites (legal or not). 
  • CPA affiliate type sites or similar affiliate type of sites, network marketing sites, affiliate educational offers, insurance sales or promotions. 
  • Content that may incite violence, illegal activity, or contain hate speech.
  • Misrepresenting or impersonating another individual, business, or association with an individual or business. 
  • Content or actions that violate the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • Poor performance due to your list collection methods or low quality content.
  • Any content that is reported to us as unsolicited or may be perceived as spam.
  • Including PayPal links directly within emails requesting payment.

In addition to the strictly prohibited categories above, there are industries and niches that we are not the best fit for, or may allow some versions of but not others. We will evaluate on an account-by-account basis. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Affiliate Marketing: We do not restrict the use of affiliate links in emails as long as they are properly marked and used responsibly. However, we do not allow content that is 100% affiliate based, including selling other tools, software, ‘business in a box’, etc. 
  • Financial or Educational offers: We allow educational information around most subjects. However, we do not allow content including offers for educational grants or scholarships, refinance or mortgage offers and insurance. 
  • Trading and Crypto or Bitcoin: Again, we allow educational information on the topics of trading, financial markets, bitcoin, etc. However, we do not allow content that sells or gives (through purchase or lottery) monetary or similar funds, or content that promises wealth or get-rich-quick type offers. 
  • CBD, Marijuana, or Supplement Marketing: We allow educational content and marketing materials surrounding supplements, and allow the same regarding Marijuana, provided it is legal in the account owner’s and Subscriber’s jurisdictions. However, we do not allow such content where it is deemed illegal nor do we allow misleading or potentially harmful information, or ‘magic in a bottle’ types of promises or offers. 
  • Weapons: We allow content regarding weapons but strictly prohibit anything detailing how to manufacture a weapon, or any content regarding or soliciting the sale of any type of weapon.
  • Multi-level Marketing: We allow the promotion and education of multi-level marketing products. However, we do not allow pyramid schemes, soliciting new members, or misrepresenting the product or program in any way. 

ConvertKit doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #convertkit


Link: Referral Agreement & Service Agreement

AWeber seems to be very lenient for many industries, and they keep their terms quite open for interpretation, unlike ConvertKit and others. Not many red flags when using AWeber, although I advise you to do your own thorough research and to talk to their reps if you’re in one of the industries strictly prohibited by one of the other email marketing platforms.

AWeber's prohibited content policy is very interesting and seems to be more lenient than other email service providers. Am I missing something? #aweber


Link: Legal Services – Goods

Our Customers are not allowed to use the Service to stream, disclose, engage, offer to sell, and promote, either directly or indirectly, any goods or services that:

  1. offer or disseminate fraudulent goods, services, schemes, or promotions (e.g. make-money-fast schemes, chain letters, pyramid schemes), payday loans or engage in any unfair deceptive act or practice;
  2. are associated with any form of gambling, betting or bingo- or lottery-type services;
  3. are associated with financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices (for example, Initial Coin Offerings ICO or binary options); cryptocurrency-related products and services may not be promoted without our prior written permission;
  4. are associated with any form of adult, xyz oriented, or obscene materials or services, including without limitation, any material clearly designed to xyz arouse the viewer/reader (e.g. books, text, photos, videos, X-rated movies, xyz materials, etc.), any materials which require individuals to be eighteen (18) years of age or older to view or purchase those materials, escort services, and adult websites;
  5. are associated with the sale of:
    1. any controlled drug that requires a prescription from a licensed practitioner; or
    2. any over-the-counter drug, or
    3. non-prescription drugs;

are associated with illegal telecommunications or cable television equipment, such as access cards, access card programmers and unloopers, cable descramblers or filters;

GetResponse doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #getresponse


Marko Rojnica MailChimp

Link: Acceptable Use Policy

Some industries have higher-than-average abuse complaints, which can jeopardize deliverability. In order to maintain the reliability of our platform, we do not allow businesses that offer these types of services, products, or content:

  • Escort services, mail-order bride/spouse finders, international marriage brokers, and other similar sites and services
  • Hookup, xyz, or xyz encounter sites or services
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Work from home, make money online, and lead generation opportunities
  • Gambling services or products
  • Multi-level marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Credit repair and get out of debt opportunities
  • List brokers or list rental services
  • Selling “Likes” or followers for a social media platform
  • Cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering

Content Subject to Additional Scrutiny

We’ve also found that certain types of content may cause higher-than-average abuse rates. For that reason, we may closely review, suspend, throttle, or disable accounts that offer the following services, products, or content:

  • Online trading, day trading tips, or stock market related content
  • Daily horoscope reports
  • Mortgages and loans
  • Nutritional, herbal, and vitamin supplements
  • Adult entertainment/novelty items
  • Online dating services and applications (dating sites or services with a xyz emphasis or xyz explicit content – including images depicting nudity – are not permitted)
  • Real estate

Services that support programmatically sending mail on behalf of third parties without creating or reviewing the content

MailChimp doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #mailchimp


Marko Rojnica iContact

Link: Terms and Conditions (Prohibited)

This prohibited content and commerce statement is incorporated by reference in iContact Marketing Corp.’s (“iContact”) end user services agreement posted at (“EUSA”). iContact expressly prohibits the use of iContact’s website, software or services by any party that engages in, or posts on its website content that relates to, the provision, distribution, display, performance, solicitation, disclosure and/or sale or rent of (as applicable) any of the following (“Prohibited Content”):

6. pyramid schemes, multi-level channel and/or network marketing opportunities, including, but not limited to personal work-at-home offers promoting “get rich quick,” “build your wealth,” and “financial independence” offerings;

7. promotion, offering, or proliferation of access to payday loans, payday advances, or short-term unsecured loans;

iContact doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #icontact


Marko Rojnica activecampaign

Link: Acceptale Use Policy

We do not allow you to use our Services to:

  • Send Marketing Content to recipients on paid or rented lists (of any form);
  • Send Marketing Content to List brokers (of any form) for distribution by them;
  • Send messages regarding:
  • illegal substances, illegal goods of any form;
  • pills, online drug purchases;
  • dietary supplements;
  • male enhancement products;
  • escort and dating services;
  • affiliate marketing;
  • eLoans, loan offers, pay day advances;
  • day trading tips, forex, etc.;
  • gambling services or products;
  • get rich quick schemes;
  • work at home and lead generation opportunities;
  • multi-level-marketing or pyramid schemes; or
  • other products or content that is, in our sole judgement, objectionable or likely to upset recipients.

ActiveCampaign doesn't let you send specific type of content. Learn if this could have an impact on your business before using it. #activecampaign

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

It could mean nothing if your business isn’t associated with any of the industries mentioned. However, if your business is in any way, shape or form related to, or conducts actions that are prohibited, you could have a problem.

A trend we’ve seen show up in these often times is:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Day Trading
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Get Rich Quick Schemes
  • Work at Home
  • Lead Generation

What does that even mean: “get rich quick schemes?”

The room for interpretation is huge, and there is a very big gray area. So, be careful with your email marketing service is and if you’re ever going to switch to a new one, make sure to check these terms and policies before you start looking into features and benefits.

I’d really love to know what your take is on this and what email marketing service you use for your business. How do you like it and did you ever have any problems with such things? Let me know in the comments below or contact me directly!

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