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Simple emailing question

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
Can someone tell me if the following is legal?
Can I place two links on a webpage that basically say:
"START sending me the monthly program schedule. Here is my email address."
AND
"STOP sending me the monthly program schedule. Here is my email address."
The links would open a "mailto:" window with the subject of "Start" or "Stop"
See here:   http://www.townofpittsford.org/LibraryTest

There are no ads or solicitations etc.  just the monthly program schedule as seen here:  http://www.townofpittsford.org/files/publications/lib-this.pdf

The link would go to the librarian handling the list.  She would add or remove the name manually from a "group" and then send the .pdf attachment to the email address.  I THINK there might be some anti-spam law that we might be in violation of but since it's not "commercial" we might be OK.  Anyone know FOR SURE?
Thanks.
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Question by:Pittsford
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9 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 34909950
you have to add privacy policy to site , and visible link to automatically unsubscribe
Jan ICT TECH MA CCNA
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Author Comment

by:Pittsford
ID: 34910532
Doesn't this qualify as a "privacy policy"?
http://www.townofpittsford.org/home-privacy
It is on the bottom of EVERY page on the site.  
(Including the "LibraryTest" link I provided in my original post.)

As for "visible link to automatically unsubscribe " - does the "STOP" link (see original question) qualify
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 34911748
yep - sorry haven't seen bottom of page.
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Author Comment

by:Pittsford
ID: 34912576
So - Yes to both - right?!  I am good to go just the way the page is?  Thanks.
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:jar3817
jar3817 earned 600 total points
ID: 34916392
Hey I work in Pittsford! :)

Legal? Absolutely. Functional? Not really.

Don't use mailto: links. They require a email client properly setup on the computer and in this day and age of webbased email (gmail, yahoo,hotmail) not everyone has that. People will click the link and it'll try to open outlook express or some other program that isn't setup properly and people won't be able to send the mail and get frustrated and give up.

Instead, you should really have a server based page (php, asp, jsp, cgi, whatever is running on your server) that handles sending the email to your librarian. Just have that sign up link go to a simple form with email, name, any other info you want and have it send the email on submit.

0
 

Author Comment

by:Pittsford
ID: 34921431
Jar3817

Instead of the "mailto", please look at this page and tell me if it is how this should be handled.  Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:Pittsford
ID: 34921439
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
kenfcamp earned 900 total points
ID: 34933261
Hello Pittsford,

Greece here :)

In my opinion the process is pretty straight forward, though I am making the assumption you are saving the email addresses to a database and your brochure mailings are automated from the database.

A little coding will be required, but it's nothing difficult.

[Adding email address]
When a visitor submits his/her email address, verify the address doesn't already exist. If it doesn't save it, if it does ignore the listing. If the email is added (personally) I'd send out a email indicating their address had successfully been added. Remember to also include a link to "remove" their address in the event it was added in error.

Alternately you could also send a verification email asking them to confirm their addition. In this instance a flag would be associated with the email address (a simply Y/N will work). The user clicks on a link included in the message activating their subscription (changing verified - N, to verified - Y). This is a method I usually use as it validates the recipient.  Obviously, listings not verified will (or should) not receive your brochures/newsletters

[Removing email addresses]
This is more straight forward and should be as simple as possible.
Each and every email should include a link to remove the recipient from the mailing list. Some lists links sent the recipient to a webpage where they add their email address. If a match is found it's deleted. The user is then presented with a confirmation screen to confirm their removal.  No emails should be sent at this time (IMO)

I tend to use both. A area on a web page where the email address to be removed can be added, and a link on every email sent to list members. The method I use, is that the link is a direct removal (No further action required other than clicking on the link).

I hope this helps

Ken
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Author Closing Comment

by:Pittsford
ID: 35028959
Will PROBABLY go with 3rd party solution. (The Mission Suite).  I want to thank everyone for their insights though.
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