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Clicking the THIS IS SPAM button
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   10 years ago


Folks, do yourself a favor and in the process you'll be helping out REPUTABLE businesses too. If you receive an email from a business that you did, indeed, subscribe to, please don't just click on the "THIS IS SPAM" button in your email program. Actually take the time to unsubscribe! Reputable businesses ALWAYS include a simple one-click email unsubscribe link at the bottom of their emails.

When you subscribe to a mailing list, you have a DUTY to unsubscribe to it if you no longer wish to receive those emails. If you just report the message as spam, the sender sometimes has no idea you wish to unsubscribe and will keep sending you mail... making you click the spam button again... making the problem worse. Now you're doing nothing but hurting the sender's reputation and possibly getting him in trouble with his ISP.

Sure, if you're getting ACTUAL SPAM advertising male enlargement, Nigerian princes who need money, or oxycodone without a prescription, then BY ALL MEANS please click on the spam button. I hate spam. Spammers need to be stopped, and that's the only way to do it. If you have no idea who the email is from and it's an obvious piece of spam, then REPORT IT. However, if it's a company whose newsletter you signed up for 3 years ago and you just don't feel like unsubscribing because you're lazy, well, that's your fault then.

I know that "experts" say never to click on the unsubscribe link in spam emails because it just verifies to the spammer that your address is valid and it makes the problem worse. Yes, this is true for ACTUAL spam. But, when its a company like mine or something else you actually signed up for, you should unsubscribe otherwise we have no way of knowing you don't want our emails anymore.

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that we just recently moved to a new web site hosting provider (GoDaddy). Well, since GoDaddy has very restrictive email policies (they limit email accounts to 250 sends per day) I found another company called SendGrid which handles email. I'm very happy with them so far. If you need to send lots of email, get in touch with them.

I sent an email batch to my customer list, and everything went just fine. I'm in the process of sending out my second email batch - this time to my NON-customer list (you know, people who signed up for free tutorials over the years) and it's generating a TON of spam complaints. Even though these are all people who were DOUBLE-OPT-IN confirmed on my mailing list, and THEY signed up, I'm still getting spam complaints.

Why? Here's why... when they received email from my OLD server, they marked it as spam instead of unsubscribing. So their ISP (AOL, Hotmail, whomever) got to realize that they didn't want to receive email from my OLD mail server (generally by IP address). Well, my IP address is now different, so there are THOUSANDS of people on my mailing list who wanted off my mailing list but instead of taking the time to unsubscribe, they clicked on the spam button. I had no way to know they wanted to unsubscribe, so I kept sending to them. Now it's causing major problems and headaches for me, because SendGrid is mad at me... even though my list is all opt-in!

So... do yourself a favor... and help out us REPUTABLE businesses in the future. Save the SPAM button for actual spam. Yes, I know it takes a whole 30 seconds to unsubscribe from a mailing list, but it's the right thing to do.


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Chris B 
10 years ago
Hello Rick
Just to let you know that just recently following the link in the email to these articles takes MINUTES to show the page. Several times it has taken so long that I gave up.
Just letting you know :o)
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