A better e-blast?
Spamming your email contacts with mass emails is rude, so a new startup called Cowboy is asking you to be a good boy by making it easier than ever to send personalized mass emails.
With a catchy name and the catchy slogan of “Be a good boy,” Cowboy is trying to disrupt the email game with their new approach to emails. Instead of using an email marketing service like Mailchimp or Campaigner, Cowboy is encouraging users to send personalized emails with fillable templates.
The selling point for Cowboy is their integration of variable information into templates, such as first or last names. They also allow you to send directly from Gmail as individual messages, scheduling sending over multiple days if necessary to avoid exceeding Gmails sending limits.
Oh, and there won’t be an unsubscribe button.
Where’s the opt-out?
Email marketers are probably aware of the laws and regulations regarding sending mass emails, specifically the CAN-SPAM Act. Passed in 2003, the law requires, among other things, a clear unsubscribe link on all mass emails. Cowboy’s way around this seems to be pushing the app as a service for personal messages, like event invitations or product launches, with lists coming directly from Google or LinkedIn contact lists.
Cowboy does not directly address how they’ll get around this regulation on their site.
For something like a wedding invitation or baby announcement sent to just a long list of friends, recipients likely won’t complain, but product launches, newsletters or other less personal messages may cause problems in the United States for the young startup.
Outside of the United States, such as Belgium where the startup is based, regulations regarding opt-ins and unsubscribe buttons for mailing lists vary, but for the most part are just as regulated. Belgium falls under the EU Opt-In Directive, which requires a clear and easy opt-out or unsubscribe button for all mass emails.
As of publishing, Cowboy is pre-release and has yet to reply to my inquiry about how they’ll avoid violating opt-out laws. While being able to send customized, mass emails to friends that feel slightly less spammy is a nice feature, without testing the service, it’s hard to know exactly how the service will roll out.