I need your help. I work for an organization that sends an email newsletter once a week. Someone in my office came up with the bright idea that we should auto-subscribe every person in our offline database and let them "opt-out" if they don't want to get it. While this email is not necessarily of a commercial nature, I personally still consider this unsolicited email to be spam. Can you provide me with a white paper or talking points on why this is a terrible idea so that I can make this case to my bosses?
A good place to start is the Senders BCP (Best Current Practices) published by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group. If anyone asks why they should do what MAAWG says, it's because its members include every large Internet provider in the country and several of the largest Anti-spam organizations in the world. This document gives easy to follow advice that will help your organization stay off blacklists and out of the ISP filters. We also recommend a review of the document "Stopping Spam: Creating a Stronger, Safer Internet", written by a joint government-industry task force in Canada. [pdf].
Another good place to look is these email related blogs that discuss Best Practices and the latest hapening in the industry: