Monday, 4 March 2013

Why you should NOT mark newsletters as SPAM. Think before you click. It has consequences.



Lots of authors and artists send out newsletters to fans to let them know about their latest news. Newsletters are usually sent out with a service such as MailChimp. Sometimes people sign up, and either forget that they've signed up, or the author/artist has signed them up on their own. I know that I've signed some people up to my mailing list myself because I converse with them frequently on social media and genuinely think they would be interested (I'm talking about FRIENDS here, not just anyone). And if they're not interested, all they need to do is unsubscribe from the newsletter, and Bob's your uncle, everyone is happy. No dramas.

But ... some people think that it's easier to just mark the newsletter as SPAM so they don't get it anymore. WHOAH! THIS IS NOT GOOD! Seriously, do NOT mark people's newsletters as spam. The consequences suck. Big time. Please legitimately UNSUBSCRIBE from the newsletter by clicking the link at the bottom which says, you guessed it, UNSUBSCRIBE. It's not rocket science.

So why should you not mark newspetters as SPAM?

Here's what it says on the MailChimp website.
"At first, you should take an abuse alert as a "heads up" that people are complaining about your campaigns. We've found that 100% double opt-in lists get about 2-5 abuse reports per 50,000 recipients. If you get more complaints than that, you should be concerned. It's highly recommenced to re-evaluate your email marketing process to prevent further complaints.
You should be very concerned if you see more than a small handful. Once abuse complaints exceed our threshold (1 complaint per thousand (1000) recipients) you will receive a warning notice. If the complaint rate is far beyond that threshold, a suspension notice will arrive in your inbox from our abuse team. They will ask about your list collection process and ask for other details about the health and life of your list. We'll need that information because by then ISPs and anti-spam organizations are threatening to blacklist us unless we explain why your list generated so many complaints. A full investigation will proceed once we have the requested information from you.
Even if you're a legitimate marketer who does everything "by the book" and only uses opt-in lists, you can still get reported for spamming. Basically, when a recipient gets your email and thinks it's spam, or just "junk mail," they can click the little "Report Spam" or "This is spam" button in their email application (even if they signed up for it!) Some people just think the button is an easy way to unsubscribe from your list. Some people are just too lazy to scroll down and click your opt-out link. That's why a couple of complaints are understood, but several gets into sticky territory."
So there you have it. Do not take that SPAM button lightly. Newsletters are not spam, they are not people trying to scam your bank details from you by claiming you've won a million bucks; they are not people saying they're abandoned in the middle of nowhere and could you please wire them some money to get them back home; they are not suspicious standalone URLS; they are not people trying to steal your identity. They are artists, trying to gain exposure.

PS: Those who run the newsletter can also see exactly who makes what actions. So if you mark a newsletter as spam, you are likely going to offend the sender because they will know exactly who you are. :-)

Next time you get a newsletter, think twice before you decide what to click, because that one click may just be the click that gets the sender banned from ever sending out a newsletter again.
_____________________________

NOTE: I'm posting over at Laura Diamond's today for Mental Health Monday. Would love it if you could pop by!

21 comments:

  1. I wasn't aware you could get blacklisted, but I suppose it makes some sense. I've never marked a newsletter as spam though, I just delete them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just delete them too, if I don't want them. Because maybe there'll be something interesting I want to know about.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for raising these points Jessica. I have never marked a newsletter as spam. I hope people are more careful about how they respond to newsletters in the future.

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  3. I usually just delete the newsletter for a while and then unsubscribe. i'd never even though about marking it as spam. Thanks for the message!

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  4. Good point. I don't have any newsletters I don't enjoy. I sign up for ones I want to participate in. But this is a good and relevant tip.

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  5. Seriously, I didn't know this. Thanks for sharing the word. If I receive an emailed newsletter that I didn't subscribe to, I simply delete it, figuring maybe at some point I might find something interesting in one of the newsletters.

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  6. Unfortunately my email account marks things as spam even if it isn't. I'm not sure if this is the same as me marking something as spam. I've only done that once. Though that might explain why I've never received anymore of that person's emails. *grins*

    I read yesterday that you should never sign someone up for your newsletter without their permission. There are a few newsletter providers who will dump you if you get a lot of people unsubscribing you at the beginning. To them, this means you were spamming the individuals.

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    Replies
    1. This is true, but they still allow you to import pre-approved lists from elsewhere. :-) So it's really just up to common sense.

      Delete
  7. I am not sure why someone would sign people up to a newsletter without their permission? I don't know, maybe others disagree, but this would not be something I would be okay with as a reader, and I would never do this for my newsletter. It is spamming people, IMO. If they are interested, they will sign up.

    Angela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if you know the people well, why should it hurt? If they don't want to receive them in the future, all it takes is one click. I don't think receiving information from friends is spamming.

      Delete
  8. I've never hit the spam button. If I don't feel like reading the newsletter, I just don't.

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  9. I'm with Alex. Except for my mistake yesterday, I am careful to leave emails and FB posts from other writers alone.

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  10. In general, I avoid the spam button as well. I also make sure to only sign up for newsletters that I'm truly interested reading.

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  11. I did not know that...

    I do know that in gmail, the "mark as Spam" button is in an awful place and that I have hit it plenty of times when I did not mean to hit it (sorry Grandma!).

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  12. plus, it's jut kind of mean. LOL! j/k but it is! <3

    no, I've FOUND people's newsletters in my spam box, but never have I put them there! Unsubscribe is usually an easy-peasy one-click deal.

    Great PSA, Jessica! :o) <3

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  13. I had no idea that you could get backlisted that way. I guess being cyber-challenged helps me in that regard since I do not put out a newsletter.

    The way blogging is changing, it is hard not to step on a land mine. Thanks, Jessica.

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  14. Yeah, i just delete them. Or if they're really irritating me, or i'm no longer intersted, i just unsubscribe. That always does it

    ReplyDelete
  15. How hard is it to just unsubscribe? I used to have a newsletter for my YA series and that issue always made me nervous.

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  16. Thanks for educating us about this, Jessica. I never mark anything as spam, but I do unsubscribe. I've blocked all anon comments now, due to increasing spam and I'm glad I did.

    Someone reported my first blog as spam, and it was blocked until I proved I was legit. Why would someone do that? I wasn't sending out info, merely commenting. I also had to delete my gmail account, due to malicious emails. Live and learn. And keep your back to the wall.

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  17. Hi Jess .. interesting to read your post and everyone's comments - early on I'd 'heard' that putting something into spam contaminated every link therein - so I just delete .. I'd like to say 'spam' occasionally - but I won't - far too risky.

    I like what DG says .. being aware all the time and not doing anything rash ... or sorting out the mess before anything happens ...

    ... and keeping all your details to hand - blog account, email data etc

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete

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