Skip to main content

You Need A Proper Email List

If you aren't very internet savvy and you are putting together a list of email addresses in order to keep people in the loop about something, you might think "I'll just add everyone's email to the To: field." Or, worse, you might decide to BCC a bunch of folks to help protect their privacy so you aren't sharing everyone's email address with everyone else. For the sake of convenience, you may also be adding attachments to these emails.

These practices can get your email flagged as spam. It can also result in your email address being blacklisted.

Adding attachments is not only a red flag that you might be a spammer who should be blacklisted, it also increases the risk of spreading viruses and malware. It is a best practice to not routinely use attachments. Training people to open attachments from just anywhere is potentially training them to open malware.

If you send something to a bad email address and it doesn't go through, you will get a bounce message. But if you end up in the spam folder or on a blacklist, you will not be notified that your messages aren't getting through.

The internet doesn't want to tell bad actors "You are in email jail." That would only help them misbehave.

The whole point of blacklisting is to minimize harm from bad actors. So if you get blacklisted, you may have no idea why no one is calling you back, why no one is attending your thing, etc.

If you have a distribution list, you need a proper distribution channel, like a Google Group. Google Groups are free to set up and not technically challenging to administer.

I've been online a lot of years. Part of my college education has come from online classes and I have served as a moderator on both forums and email lists.

So I have gathered together some articles supporting the above point that you can read if you so desire. The short version is that you should not be emailing a ton of people on a regular basis without setting up a proper list.

And you really should not be BCCing them with attachments. It looks very shady and can come back to bite you.
  • Email Blacklists 101: What You Need to Know A blacklist is a real-time list that identifies IP addresses or domains that are known to send spam. They’re used by organizations like internet service providers (ISPs), free mailbox providers, and anti-spam vendors to prevent spam from coming into their systems.
  • The 5 Mistakes That Will Land Your Email in the Spam Folder An ISP filter can flag an email if the origin domain or IP address is deemed untrustworthy, or if the email itself has a high probability of being spam.
  • Avoid being Flagged as a Spammer It is better to send an individual message to each recipient, rather than using multiple addresses in the BCC field because many spam filters (and many ISP's) automatically flag multiple recipients as spam.
    Also: Minimize your use of attachments
  • 9 Ways to Avoid Getting Your Email Flagged as Spam "Provide an Easy Way to Unsubscribe"
    (Hint: This means a button they can click themselves. It does not mean forcing them to track down the proper contact person and begging said person to remove them from the distribution list.)
  • Why Is My Mail to this Person Not Getting Through? Spam typically doesn’t bounce Because bouncing email flagged as spam would give the real spammers too much information about how to bypass the spam filters, it’s simply not done. Email flagged as spam is simply not delivered, or is delivered to the recipient’s spam folder, where they may or may not find it.

Popular posts from this blog

Sticky This: See a typo? Submit a pull request.

For the first time ever, I submitted a pull request yesterday to an open source project notifying them of a typo. It was accepted within hours. Submitting the pull request was easy and took almost no time. The process of submitting it gave me valuable prompts, such as "This field is typically no more than 50 characters." I've been on Hacker News for over eleven years. I began wondering how on earth I can contribute to open source as a non-coder a few years back. I've talked to other non-coders who were just as mystified as I was -- or more mystified -- as to how on earth you get into open source as a non coder. So, no, it isn't just me. I spent probably a few hours yesterday trying to sort out how on earth to notify them of their typo. It took me far, far longer to figure out what I needed to do than it took to do it. This is a huge barrier to entry and will stop most people before they begin. Most people simply can't give you three hours of their t

Me. Woodward Park, Fresno, CA. January 2016.

My favorite pic of me that's sort of recent-ish. (No, you aren't lost. As of June 1, 2020, redirects here.)

My First Pull Request Was Approved! Huzzah!

A few hours ago, I submitted my first ever pull request . I mean to something other than the Hello World project Github walks you through to show you the basics. It has now been approved by the maintainer and merged. And, wow, I need to get this off my chest: You programmers are completely unnecessarily scaring off non-programmers from your Open Source projects. This is how this went down: I saw a piece on Hacker News that interested me and I opened it up to find that it was a Github repository. I began reading the documentation and noticed a typo. One of the titles said "Funtion" instead of "Function" in it. So I was like "I would like to tell them." Now the last time I wanted to tell someone in Open Source they had a typo, I left a comment on Hacker News to do it. They did fix it and apparently took some of my other advice as well. But this time the article didn't have a lot of comments. It only has two, in fact. So I felt like le