Although this one seems obvious, unfortunately the situation is far from being clear and simple.
It is one thing to follow the law and obey all the rules, but ultimately spam is in the eyes of the beholder! This means it is your audience, your subscribers who are the judge and jury and executioner who have the last word on the issue of spam.
In this case, power truly is in the hands of the people!
These days, it’s not so much the content of your emails that’s going to trigger spam filters, it’s your reputation as a sender. That’s why it’s imperative to keep your name and web site domain clean.
Don’t be tempted to send emails to a list you obtained from a friend, and send an email “blast” to them. This will definitely land you in the dog house.
To avoid being labeled as a spammer: deliver content that you promised. That means content that is relevant to your audience.
If you say “sign up for my ezine to learn how to get rid of fear of dentists” don’t send them articles on effective anaesthetic procedures your dentist just introduced, or if you provide reviews of fine-art books in your e-newsletter, then don’t talk about music or architecture.
Sending relevant content will improve your reputation and your response rate!