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Knowledgebase: Mailing Lists/ezmlm
How can I manage my mailing list responsibly?
Posted on 22 November 2003 02:10 AM
Mailing lists can be a useful tool in promoting your web site and its products and/or services. However, as a Site Owner, it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with proper mailing list management practices in order to try to prevent spam complaints against your domain and web site.

Please note that it is not sufficient to just include "unsubscribe directions" in each mailing you send out and to remove recipients promptly if they complain. No one should receive your mailings unless they have requested them explicitly via a Confirmed Opt-In process.

FutureQuest® has provided some guidelines, below, specific to mailing list management. Additional suggestions, which also apply to more general email situations, are located in the Spam Prevention tutorial.

Recommended practices for mailing list owners to prevent spam complaints:

  • Use a Confirmed Opt-In subscription process, as required by the FutureQuest Terms of Service.

  • Provide easy-to-locate unsubscribe directions, which are also easy to complete, on your web site and in each mailing to your list.

  • Unsubscribe requests should be processed promptly. An automated process is recommended. If unsubscribe requests are processed manually, take care to ensure that these requests are processed before any further mailings are sent.

  • If you have email addresses on your existing list that were not added by a Confirmed Opt-In process, remove those addresses from the list and email a confirmation request to them. If you receive a verified confirmation from one of the addresses in return, that email address may again be added and subscribed to the list.

  • Never take subscribers from one list and assume it is okay to add them to a different list, even if the topic is similar. Explicit permission must always be received before adding new subscribers to any list. One subscription, one list.

  • Do not use purchased lists from third party "list brokers". Because the email address owners on such lists have not opted-in to your list explicitly, you are likely to receive spam complaints if using purchased lists.

Additional Resources and Tips on Mailing List Management:
How can I manage my mailing list or relay to avoid spamming?
Marketing FAQ (Mailing Lists)
Mailing Lists -vs- Spam Lists
Principles of Best Practice - E-zine & Mailing List Publishers