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What Is The Deal With Being 'reported' For Spamming

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8 replies to this topic

#1 lister


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:21 PM

Hi, I have 20 subscribers to my newsletter, (I just started my business) and am wondering what happens if one or two of my subscribers forgot they subscribed and report me for spam when I am doing no such thing.

I am sending the emails from mydomain.com - all it takes is one or two people to flag me as spam accidentally and then does mydomain.com get flagged as sending spam?

I only ask since my domain and business is new and I imagine that search engines are more suspicious of emails being flagged as spam from a new business.

Of course I have absolutely no intention to spam - but I am just a little cautious before I start my first newsletter.

My newsletter is very specific as are the audience and I am sure they will remember mydomain.com and my services - but still, better to understand things from the beginning -

Any thoughts ?

Thanks wink1.gif

PS the real reason why I ask is because I am very guarded about always making my domain and back links as clean as possible.

Edited by lister, 21 August 2009 - 01:33 PM.

#2 qwerty


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 02:30 PM

Are you asking what search engines will do to you, or do you mean more generally what could happen? If it's the former, nothing. I've never heard of a search engine doing anything to a domain because of email spam being sent from it. If it's the latter, the worst thing I can think of is someone publishing something to hurt your reputation: Don't buy from lister's site because they're a pack of lousy, no good email spammers!

The best way to avoid that is to use a double opt-in system to collect addresses, and to save that information.

#3 lister


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:25 PM

yeah thanks - i just asked cause there is often a 'report spam' function' on clients like hotmail et al

but thanks for advice - that clears that up!

Onto my first newsletter then!!!

#4 qwerty


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:33 PM

Ah, that's something I left out. If enough people use a function like that, the mail system's spam filters are likely to blacklist the domain. That just means they'll block your newsletters from getting through to anyone using that system. You'd have to be sending out quite a few messages and having a high percentage of the people receiving those messages report you (all through the same system) for that to happen.

#5 Randy


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:53 PM

Make sure you follow Bob's advice to institute a double opt in. Meaning someone signs up on your web site, then you (usually automatically) send an email to the provided email address and make them reconfirm via a link or other instructions in the email. Do all of this before you actually add an address to your mailing list. This is the only way you can make sure someone isn't spamming your form. Plus you'll need the double opt in verification if you ever decide to move your newsletter off to one of the services that specialize in this sort of thing.

Tip 2: Make sure you include all of the Can Spam requirements in every single email. Including a way for people to opt out. Make getting out easier than getting in.

But expect some people to do exactly what you fear, because it's going to happen. I allow a couple of folks to use a mailman (it's software) mailing list on a couple of my servers. Only because they're not used for marketing purposes at all. The couple of folks are actually schools where parents can sign up to receive things like quarterly or monthly updates of what's going on at the school. (I don't allow mailman on my servers to be used for commercial purposes, nor do I use it myself.)

Still, there are folks who either forgot they signed up for the school newsletters or are simply too lazy to use the unsubscribe link mailman automatically puts on every email sent through it. Which means I get to deal with those. The way I do this is that I've set up what are called Feedback Loops with all of the major ISPs and email services. Meaning if someone on AOL reports an email sent from my server to them as spam, I get a notification email. I can then manually remove that person from whatever mailing list their on.

The problem in doing this for most people is that most servers deliver mail from one main IP number, which probably isn't going to be the one your site sits on. And any host worth their salt probably already has a feedback loop set up for that IP, which would keep you from being able to set one up just for your domain's mail.

My personal bottom line, both for my own sites or other sites on my servers, is that starting a very small mailing list is okay. But once the number of recipients goes over say 50 people, it's time to pay for a service that specializes in bulk email services. They're not that expensive after all.

All of the above has nothing to do with SEO or the search engines. But until you've run up against it you probably cannot imagine how much of a pain it is to suddenly have one of the big ISP's start rejecting every email you attempt to send to one of their users. Even if that particular user never reported you for anything. Once you allow yourself to get on that list it's practically impossible to get off of it.

#6 jehochman


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 11:06 PM

If you are planning to monetize your newsletter, I recommend you start with a ConstantContact account, or something similar. It is worth a few bucks to have all the deliverability headaches taken care of, and legal compliance assured.

#7 Jill


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Posted 22 August 2009 - 10:37 AM

You should not send from your own domain's SMTP servers because people definitely will forget they subscribed and definitely will report it as spam. Even with double opt-in.

Use a list server as they have arrangements with all the major ISPs, etc.

#8 lister


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Posted 22 August 2009 - 02:17 PM

That is excellent advice - thanks.

I have signed up with constant contact which I assume is a 'list server' ?

Thanks! wink1.gif

#9 BeTheBest


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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:51 PM

Yes they are. I was going to say that you should drop what you're doing and get to the List people before you go any further. At least you've got it started the right way.

Good luck!

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