How to Sign In
BCOMMunity Blog
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Ethical Sales Email Practices

We live in a world where our inboxes can become out of control quickly. We try our best to stay on top of the waves of incoming messages. Faculty know all too well that clearing an inbox can feel like doing triage in an emergency room.


Knowing that it is difficult to handle the sheer quantity of incoming messages, businesses must employ ethical practices in their emailing, beyond the frequency of messaging. It should not be a challenge for customers to determine who is sending the email, and what their purpose is. In a perfect world, this would be done by everyone. Yet there are deceitful actors out there (sometimes in sheep’s clothing), engaging in questionable practices in hopes of exploiting for commercial gain.


(Publisher Note: Cengage has implemented email system rules to ensure that faculty customers don’t receive multiple emails within a given window of time, and always identify ourselves as “Cengage” in the email address.)


We find that it is best to apply some qualifying questions to any sales (or marketing) email, to determine whether it is worth opening, archiving, responding, or deleting.


  • Is it clear who is sending me this email? Are they clearly named in the email domain?
  • Do they identify themselves and/or their business affiliations in the email?
  • Are they using a business domain or personal domain? Is their domain appropriate for a sales message?
  • Is the domain vague?

When the identity of the sender is not absolutely clear, consider the following:


  • Why would the sender use a personal domain when they should be using a company domain?
  • Why would the sender use a vague domain?
  • Can I trust the information in this message?
  • If the sender doesn’t identify themselves, can I trust what they are selling?


Stay vigilant, colleagues!


The Guffey Team