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 :)

2 comments:

  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.

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

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