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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.

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