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One Spam Complaint Zaps Email Newsletter

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday February 22, 2012 )

This is scary. It seems one subscriber to a newsletter complained to the sender’s mailing list service provider; claiming it was spam – and the sender’s account was suspended.

The sender now has to prove the subscriber actually subscribed to the mailing list before they’ll be able to send again.

There is further detail on this incident here and while I’m wondering if there’s more to this story than has been described, it’s a good reminder to make unsubscribe options in email newsletters and marketing material very, very clear.

Even if you do, and I’m sure many would have experienced this, you’ll still get the occasional challenged person cry “spam!” in regard to something you’re sending them that they subscribed to – and this would still happen even if you put a one-click unsubscribe link at the very top of your communication in 24pt Verdana bold.

Heck, I’ve even had complaints about communications I’ve never even sent – the person has confused me with some other site. How, I have no idea.

Anyhow, I’ve always maintained that if someone wants off your list, give them to the tools to get off it. Fast.

I’m puzzled by merchants that make you jump through hoops to unsubscribe from something as I think they are just asking for trouble – and when an unsubscribe appears to have worked and you *still* receive newsletters or whatever; well that’s just a business painting a huge target on themselves.

The CAN SPAM Act makes it really clear providing an easy unsubscribe function isn’t just a nice thing to do; we’re legally obligated to (if you operate in the USA). The Act states

“You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.”

Pick up some tips on unsubscribe best practices here.


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