I'm disappointed in the way CC has defined Spam abuse. I believe it's One Complaint in 5000 that is acceptable. I find that so very unrealisitc because it's so easy for someone to press a button and report something as spam. I have a mailing list of 3000 and got 3 reports last week. The last time that happened CC made me do a review with them
We decided to go OPT IN and it's the worst thing I could have done. the people who accidentally deleted the opt in letter can NEVER get a mailing from me. they stay in a constant state of "unconfirmed".
So, though I love the service, the pressure is getting too great!! I may have to look elsewhere for a more emailing client that has more reasonable expectations.
BTW, I send out an astrology newsletter that has to be subscribed to.
On a related note, I think that I've hit gold, or at least pyrite, on the spam issue.
I have become a customizing fool. I'm inserting the client's name in the permission reminder, subject, and body of the email. I tried a blast (washed against the e-zine, lyris, and CC spam checkers) to a small segment of my list. Not one spam complaint. I'm sure this isn't the holy grail but it's better results than I've been getting.
Of course, development time for my newsletter doubled but, oh well. The message is getting through. :d
The newsletter has certainly been inspected by CC several times. The Subject heading says, "Mark's Power Peek" and it's just a "here's what the trend for the week is". the problem I'm addressing is the rediculous standards that CC is applying here. 1 spam complaint for every 5000 is just absurd when you have ISPs like Comcast making reporting spam as easy as the click of a button. and..
What's up with that Opt in where if they don't respond they can NEVER be added. You can't believe the trouble it has caused me. People who were out of town or who never got it who now can't ever subscribe because CC has them as "Unconfirmed" and it won't let them be confirmed except through the original letter that was sent. Oy Vey!!
P.S. Sorry for the rant but my newletter is very hard to do every week and to worry that one more person might report it as spam is getting tough to deal with.
I just sent my latest newsletter -- had someone report it as spam, and was opted-out. (AOL account, too.)
So, as a matter of course, I send all my opt-outs an email saying "gee, we are sorry to see you go, but maybe you can tell us how we can do a beter job. And if this was an accident, you can re-subscribe by going here (with a web link)."
Lots of people come back and say it was a mistake, and re-subscribe.
Plus, I then have documented proof that it was a user error -- not my newsletter.
This is the type of "ammo" you need when you get classified as a "spammer." It is hard for someone to argue against good solid objective evidence.
I just wanted to say too, thanks to everyone for posting/venting/sharing. I did want to reiterate the following points:
1) We can and ARE doing everything right and the ISP's absolutely do not care.
2) CC has to maintain a business relationship with ISP's or CC has no business.
3) The ISP's have made it far to easy to report an email as SPAM--and when I think on it, perhaps rightly so given the fact that opening a SPAM email does nothing more than validate your email address for more SPAM. (FYI, leaving an auto-responder on your mailbox does the same thing.)
4) CC has to maintain good relations with their clients, i.e. us, or CC has no business. On the one hand, CC cannot be blamed for trying to keep their business up and running--after all, who would engage the services of a company that is blacklisted by large ISP's?
My concern is that CC is experiencing issues with ISP's that other companies are not. That either signifies that CC is the largest and therefore the bigger target, or that CC has allowed real SPAMMERS access to their services in the past for which we are all now being punished.
Since we all need to access email addresses served by large ISP's and since CC cannot do business without being able to deliver to those email addresses, I think the burden is now on CC to take some sort of legal action. File a lawsuit against AOL, MSN-Hotmail, and whoever else for unlawful obstruction of commerce. Okay, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure there is some angle that can be explored in court to force ISP's to begin to examine more closely what is SPAM and what isn't.
If anyone out there has successfully engaged the services of another company, please PM me. I'm looking.
I've been stewing on this problem of being labled and dealt with as a spammer by CC and I've come to a few conclusions.
1-Deliverability is key to our success. In a way, I'm glad that CC is imposing such strict standards to maintain what seems to be a good deliverability rate. 2-Moving to another service may affect our deliverability in a negative way. Whether I use my own server, another service that assigns you a specific IP, or whatever, it would be very easy to get blocked by an ISP. 3-The ISP's don't care and won't care in the forseeable future. In fact, they won't care until they block all commercial email unless the sender pays them a fee. Then, they'll take all the SPAM they can handle.
Perhaps the most important conclusion I've come to is that it's up to us to come up with creative ways to maintain our relationships with our readers. They are the only people that matter. As a result, I'm on the customization trail. I'll do just about anything to make my emails more personal and relative the the reader. I think, for now, that's the key to my long terms success.
I'll continue to work deligently with CC and my friends here on the ConnectUp board to improve my emails and reduce my spam complaints. If CC cans me as a client after all of this work, shame on them. I hope they'll see me for what I am. I legitimate marketer getting knocked around by the ISP's. 8)
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