Monday, September 28, 2009

I Am A Spamtard

Sunday night I had the bright idea of sending an email to EVERYONE I've ever contacted in my Gmail account to announce my resume writing service. When Gmail informed me that I could only send an email to 500 people at once, I signed up for a self service direct marketing company for email. I'm thinking to myself, "Hey, I'm a great resume writer. Of course everyone wants to know!" After crafting up a short message, I proceeded to email several thousand people all at once.

This morning I get an email from the direct marketing company informing me that I had successfully managed to get one of their email servers blacklisted as a flinger of spam. Apparently my unsolicited email campaign caused a lot of people to report the message as spam. My direct marketing account was also closed without warning.

If you are thinking of starting an email campaign, I highly recommend reading about Opt-in email :)


  1. Ah. Yes. I was actually wondering about that when I got the email.

    The thing about email is that there is actual legislation prohibiting Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) from arriving in users' folders via the CAN-SPAM act of '03. All it takes is a couple of users on a service to report a message as spam and you can get your mail server spam-listed.

    I went through this battle when our startup launched in July of this year. Email wasn't getting through and I noticed that our email headers had SpamAssassin flags in them. I worked vigorously to ensure our emails were spam filter-friendly, contacted all major email providers I thought we'd have problems with, and did some research about opt-in systems. I've also been routinely checking SpamCop to see if we show up there too.

    The short of it is you MUST have a log of 1) a user going to your site, 2) your SITE sending them a verification email, and 3) them accepting an opt-in/confirmation link. You must be able to provide logs for all of this.

    Ugh. Sorry to hear about the spam blocking.

  2. Hehe. The email providers make it very easy to pull out a credit card, upload your contacts, and shoot yourself in the foot.