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Spam unregister

Posted on 2011-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello,
Supposedly Canada is incorporating an anti-spam legislation. Our company sends out mass email to our customers to notify them of different events. It's usually done via Outlook/Excel mail merges. The legislation says that there must be an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. How do most companies accomplish this? Does the unsubscribe link go to a web server then the customer enters their email address and clicks on unsubscribe? Also how would other users incorporate this into their mass emails for people who have unsubscribed? I'm just looking for suggestions. Thank you.
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Question by:CMilne
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by:Benjamin MOREAU
Benjamin MOREAU earned 332 total points
ID: 36532500
You must to have an E-Mailing supplier who manage a databse with all your contacts. When a user click on "unsuscribe", he is deleted from the database of your emailing suscriber.

You can also use a software to do this : try Sarbacane who is a very good emailing software (and not expensive) : http://www.sarbacane.com/uk-us/blacklist_bounces.asp 
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Dave Baldwin earned 336 total points
ID: 36532590
This is the official page for the CAN-SPAM Act in the US: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business   Item #6 "Honor opt-out requests promptly" tells what your requirements are the US.  It will probably be similar in Canada.
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by:Anacreo
Anacreo earned 332 total points
ID: 36900364
You will have a tricky time if you're using Outlook Mail Merge to perform your mass mailing.  The usual technique is to embed a link that will link back to an e-mail id in your mail system so it knows which mailing list, which user, and which e-mail received the negative response.

In a simpler way you could have Outlook form a URL such as:

http://www.mydomain.com/unregister.php?email=<recipient e-mail address>

You'll need to use VB script to generate the recipient e-mail address as a base64 encoded string though, as there can be unacceptable characters, however most modern email/browser clients will autofix this for you until you figure out how to get that VBScript into your outlook emails.

Anyhow on your domain server you can have your unregister.php script simply e-mail you with the recipients name and has requested to be removed from your list.  Then when you receive this e-mail you should process it.

This is really a manual way of doing it there are many systems out there that can automate this for you, we use ARP+, and I've used StrongMail in the past for an integrated solution.  You can check out PHPList which runs as a hosted service or a local install, and then finally the de facto standard of "Constant Contact".

Also at the same time you'll want to register to be on FeedBack Loops with all the major providers, this way if there is a complaint against your IP than you'll receive the offended users e-mail; this makes it a lot easier to stay on the good mailer side of the house.  You must be the owner of the IP address of your mail servers in order to get on the feedback loop however.

Hope some of this helps.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CMilne
ID: 36964567
Thank you
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