Author Topic: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters  (Read 1440 times)

alhawke

Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« on: April 13, 2021, 06:13:17 AM »
I've been sending newsletters out to my readers over the past two years. For the first time ever I received two abuse reports stating that my newsletter this month was "spammy". The newsletter was a cover reveal for an upcoming new release. That doesn't seem to be spammy for an author newsletter that readers subscribed to. The unsubscribe button is right at the bottom of the email.

Anyone know what's going on here? Those with larger lists, is this happening often to you?? Should I be in a panic? My current newsletter list is around 1k but grew through Booksweeps by about 500 3months ago (no spam noted with last months newsletter); I have all my readers double opt in before signing up. Most of my newsletter has grown by me offering a free book to readers.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 06:56:16 AM »
It happens.  I once had an eMail reported as spam for sending the recipient holiday greetings.  Hard for it to be spam when there was nothing being advertised and also since we had exchanged holiday greetings in the past.

Too many people don't even know what spam is.  If you signed up for it, it's not spam; you literally asked to receive it.  If you don't want to receive it anymore, unsubscribe.  The "report as spam" button is not an "unsubscribe" button.  Too many people don't seem to grasp that very simple concept.


I have all my readers double opt in before signing up.

WARNING!  Pet peeve time . . .   :rant

Terms like "single opt-in" and "double opt-in" are not accurate.  Anyone can submit an eMail on a website.  You have no way of knowing the eMail account holder submitted it unless they confirm it.  What marketers frequently call "double opt-in" is more accurately "confirmed opt-in."

If I start receiving eMails from a list to which I did not subscribe, I don't care if there is an unsubscribe button.  I am reporting it as spam.  If someone entered my eMail address on a website for someone's list, I did not opt-in.  So, if you do not confirm that I opted-in, your messages are going to be reported as spam.

So, what marketers may call "single opt-in" is more accurately described as unconfirmed opt-in.  Maybe the eMail account holder opted-in.  Maybe they didn't.  You don't know.  It's unconfirmed.

Thus, what's called "double opt-in" is confirmed opt-in.  The eMail account holder has confirmed that they did opt-in.

In my opinion, using the term "double opt-in" perpetuates a notion that the process involves a needless repeated step or is somehow a hardship or problem.  It is not.  I have long been in favor of confirmed opt-in and here is why:

1) It is confirmation that the person did request to be on your mailing list.  You don't want people on your list that don't actually want to be on it.  Also, hard to argue "spam" when they confirmed that they wanted to be on your list.

2) Verifies that the recipient can receive your messages.  If your eMail to request confirmation does not reach them, odds are other eMails might not either.

3) Provides some protection against spam complaints.  Not foolproof, of course, but harder to argue that you're a spammer when you are actively ensuring people want to be on your list by having them confirm.

Often, when I see someone use the term "double opt-in", the first question on my mind is, are they from the Warrior Forum?   :icon_think:
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 07:11:38 AM »
I have a dumb mail chimp question. If some people unsubscribed but they are still on the list will they be sent an email if I send it to everyone? I don't want to annoy people. Also 2 of my subscribers are "cleaned". What does that mean?

To Dan's point, I have reported (large household name) companies as spam if I unsubscribed and they still keep sending me stuff for weeks, sometimes multiple times a day. Looking at you Children's Place.
 
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PaulineMRoss

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 07:16:35 AM »
I would agree that spam complaints are to be expected. People sign up on my list to get the freebies, forget they signed up (because I don't email that often) and sometimes they're having a bad day, or just click the 'Report as spam' button as a quick way of getting rid of it (because sometimes the unsubscribe button leads to an array of are-you-sure and but-why-are-you-leaving questions, and who has time for that?)

Don't worry about it.

Writing epic fantasy as Pauline M Ross; writing Regency romance as Mary Kingswood
Bookbub score: 14 for 90
 
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 07:31:09 AM »
To Dan's point, I have reported (large household name) companies as spam if I unsubscribed and they still keep sending me stuff for weeks, sometimes multiple times a day. Looking at you Children's Place.

Once you unsubscribe, and they keep sending, then it becomes spam.

I don't mind giving them some leeway, but I would think that, these days, it should not take more than a few days to get you off an eMail list.  Should be instant but you never know what antiquated system some large company may be running.  Snail mail is a bit easier to understand; something might already be processed and addressed when your removal request comes in, so it's not unreasonable to receive something that was already in progress.

Then there are the marketers that will play games with your unsubscribe request.  They will remove you from the list you were on, but move you to another list.  Then they'll be like, yeah, I removed you from that list but this list is a different one.  :evil2:
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

alhawke

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 09:45:16 AM »
If some people unsubscribed but they are still on the list will they be sent an email if I send it to everyone?
They should go right off your list. They'll remain in your total, but emails won't be sent to them any longer after unsubscribing.
Don't worry about it.
Probably. Yeah. I like to worry about everything. It's just that I read that I can only afford like 5 before I'm threatened with not being able to send out newsletters. And after sending around 15 mailings, this is the first time I received the "abuse report" at all.
Often, when I see someone use the term "double opt-in", the first question on my mind is, are they from the Warrior Forum?   :icon_think:
No more "double opt-in" terminology from me. I just read the terminology when searching the internet. I don't even know what "Warrior Forum" is. I had to look the up too. I'm super new at all this newsletter stuff. :shrug


What gets me is being the recipient of the recent virus attack by B&N, constantly receiving all sorts of junk mail, and then being accused of sending junk mail to my readers. The irony is this month's newsletter I thought was my best one yet. Go figure.
 
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 10:30:58 AM »
What gets me is being the recipient of the recent virus attack by B&N, constantly receiving all sorts of junk mail, and then being accused of sending junk mail to my readers. The irony is this month's newsletter I thought was my best one yet. Go figure.

One of the winners I had was someone that requested a refund for a free item.  :shrug
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

LilyBLily

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 10:55:51 AM »
Every time I send out a newsletter, 15 or 20 people unsubscribe and 2 or 3 people claim it's spam. I assume that has something to do with their own email systems--that it's easier to call it spam in some than in others.

Actually, I have no idea how something ends up being designated as spam. I use Thunderbird and can call something Junk and it goes to a Junk file on my computer, but AFAIK that doesn't mean the sender has also gotten a spam complaint. How would I even make that complaint when getting an email from the Nigerian prince? Who is crazy enough to click anywhere on that type of junk?

Which brings up another rant. I was completely unable to get off Walgreens' spammy email list despite unsubscribing and even snail mailing the company demanding to be taken off. I finally had to blacklist the company at the web host level. If there was a way to make a daily or weekly spam complaint against Walgreens, I would do it. I don't know how.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 02:15:08 PM by LilyBLily »
 
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 11:25:49 AM »
Actually, I have no idea how something ends up being designated as spam. I use Thunderbird and can call something Junk and it goes to a Junk file on my computer, but AFAIK that doesn't mean the sender has also gotten a spam complaint.

That just trains Thunderbird to recognize junk.

There used to be sites you could report to.  They might still be around but I gave up on that a long time ago as it took more time than it was worth.  Sometimes, if you can track them them down to their webhost or domain name registrar, you can get them banned, but you have to be careful in case they've spoofed the domain.

In the past, I've managed to get affiliate spammers kicked out of the programs because most don't allow their affiliates to spam.  That cuts them off from their money supply.  But, after a while, that didn't seem to work either.  I had one that kept spamming me and I kept reporting them but the affiliate network apparently didn't do anything.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

alhawke

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 12:00:36 PM »
Every time I send out a newsletter, 15 or 20 people unsubscribe and 2 or 3 people claim it's spam.
Those numbers are helpful, Lily. Thanks!

I now have 3 people claiming spam for today's email. Two of them are readers who, in the past, opened my emails and even clicked on stuff.  :HB

One thing I did notice is that all three were rated 1 star by Mailchimp. So I might run through my list and delete all my 1 stars. The 2 stars are tougher. I've got a lot of those.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2021, 02:18:53 PM »
What I don't understand is if reporting spam is so much work, why do people even bother? Were they on drugs when they signed up in the first place? Do they have amnesia?

The opt-in situation has no final clarity because any family member, house guest, or other person with access to your computer could sign you up and validate that signup without ever having to prove they have the right to do so. Just saying.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2021, 02:45:57 PM »
The opt-in situation has no final clarity because any family member, house guest, or other person with access to your computer could sign you up and validate that signup without ever having to prove they have the right to do so. Just saying.

True, but that's sort of on you for allowing others access to your eMail.  Plus, they would not only have to sign up and validate, but also delete the messages otherwise there would be an electronic paper trail on your computer showing it was done.  And, in any event, on the sender's end, they could see that your computer was used to sign up and confirm.  You could try to argue you were hacked, but the odds of someone hacking into your computer to sign you up on a mailing list is pretty small.  If hackers are going to go through the trouble, they are going to be trying to get into your bank accounts or lock your files for ransom.

The larger problems with unconfirmed opt-ins are that (a) senders could input your eMail address into their system without ever having your permission or (b) someone who knows your eMail address could sign you up on a ton of lists because you ticked them off.  The former is far more likely but the latter happens too.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

djmills

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 06:14:43 AM »
Which brings up another rant. I was completely unable to get off Walgreens' spammy email list despite unsubscribing and even snail mailing the company demanding to be taken off. I finally had to blacklist the company at the web host level. If there was a way to make a daily or weekly spam complaint against Walgreens, I would do it. I don't know how.

A long time ago, a US travel company somehow got my email address, so every day they sent images (large jpgs) of scenes all around US. Every day. I looked for an unsubscribe button, visible or hidden, but there was none. I sent an email to unsubscribe me. That was ignored. All the while more of the large images were delivered to my inbox each day.

I then automated and moved every one to its own folder on arrival. Then I forwarded each and every one, with the images included, back to the sender and deleted after it was sent. It took more than 24 hours for my poor email provider to send them on and empty the folder.

Funny how one day later they stopped coming to me.  :icon_rolleyes:


   
Diane J Cornwell - Fiction
D J Mills - Non Fiction
Tift Publishing
Amazon
 

alhawke

Re: Abuse reports with Mailchimp /newsletters
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2021, 01:54:38 AM »
Update: Newsletter sent out yesterday. I send monthly. No spam reports sent (knock on wood). I deleted about 40 readers who had 2 stars on Mailchimp and low engagement two months ago.

Guess what? I'm fairly sure it was Booksweeps. I try to make a habit of not saying disparaging things, so let me elaborate. The onslaught of abuse reports happened after obtaining the list from Booksweeps, but Booksweeps also gave me 550 readers with high engagement. All in all, the risk of spam reports and additional new readers to my newsletter is balanced far in favor of Booksweeps. I'll definitely use the service again. But it should serve as a warning to you all when growing your list fast.