I reiterate: If you don’t like our e-mails, please do NOT mark them as spam — just unsubscribe

Hello dotTechies,

Back in September my web host blocked dotTech’s access to send e-mails because someone decided to start marking our e-mail reminders as spam. That issue was resolved in about a day plus another day or two for the back log of emails to clear. Back then I asked people to please *not* mark our e-mails as spam if you no longer want them — simply unsubscribe. Apparently one person did not get the memo because the whole situation has happened, again.

One person, who shall not be named, decided they no longer like the e-mail notifications dotTech has been sending them. So, instead of simply unsubscribing, they decide to mark all the e-mails we have sent to them as spam. From the looks of it, they started on their crusade in October and have marked roughly 200 e-mails as spam since then. That has resulted in my web host temporarily blocking dotTech from sending e-mails, on the suspicion that we are spamming. This means people on our one-email-per-article list will not be receiving any e-mails until this is resolved.

I have, of course, e-mailed them back and explained the situation so hopefully we will have access back by tomorrow. Not a big loss but definitely annoying — especially for those people who rely on e-mails every day to know about new stuff posted on dotTech.

Take note this only affects people on our one-email-per-article list. People on our one-email-per-day list are unaffected and should get e-mails like normal.

What makes this particular situation even more annoying is the above-mentioned person has been subscribed to dotTech since 2009. Why in the world would you screw over a blog you have been following for three years by marking their e-mails as spam? I don’t understand. I must have pissed ’em off.

Ladies and gentleman, please, if you no longer want our e-mails, please just unsubscribe. A link to unsubscribe is included in every damn e-mail we sent — look at the bottom. Marking e-mails as spam really doesn’t help anyone, you nor me. In fact, it just causes headaches.

-Mr. Boss

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  • Kristianeus

    I can actually empathize with the spam-reporter. There is indeed a link to unsubscribe in the emails you send – but it directs you to a page with ambiguous or opaque instructions that remonstrate (repeatedly) to click on buttons that are not immediately apparent, or apparent after some study. We are not all techies out here, and we don’t have infinite time to mess around with this. A lot of folks don’t want to get into a discussion about this – they just want to unsubscribe, already! I like getting your offers of free or sale software, but I have been unable to stop the comments on the Collage It I acquired. It is frustrating, and the inability to be clear about as basic a thing as unsubscribing makes one wonder if there are problems with more challenging problems. Just a view from across the tech pond (please help me stop the Collage It comments, too!)

  • @ashraf and pipples:
    The problem you have had is VERY common and more so every dayAnd guess what our research has turned up:
    1. A large number of your subscribers do not have English as their first, let alone even second language, quite often.
    2. Sometimes competitors will try and do something like this just to be nasty.
    3. The biggest problem is caused by the blacklisting companies. All they have to do is ensure that they do not react until the fifth complaint comes in – and make sure it’s coming from different IP addresses, not simply email addresses.

    At the end of the day, the most critical thing you can do for your own safety in running an email list is to ensure that you stick to double opt in and always, always print a large and easily distinguished opt out email address that will get a high priority attention if a receiver activates it.


  • Mo

    Unfortunately, I LOVE the amazing photos, hence my dilemma!

  • Ashraf

    @Emrys: @Bill: @jayesstee: Thanks!
    @albert otojunk: @Mo: You can unsubscribe from “Miscellaneous” but that would mean you also don’t get emails about Amazing Photo of the Day. If that is OK with you, then go ahead and do it.

  • Mo

    I agree with Albert. I also don’t enjoy the “comic” section, but there is no way of “unsubscribing” from it.

  • albert otojunk

    @Ashraf — thanks for the work you do for your website.

    Is it possible to unsubscribe to specific email subjects — such as comics?

  • jayesstee

    @Ashraf: I guess you are right. Just keep shouting at us – we will all learn eventually!

  • Bill

    I enjoy the emails from you some of the programs are very useful.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Emrys

    Dear Ashraf, keep your chin up; the hoards that love you will keep on reading you and those that mark email that they subscribed to as spam just can’t be helped anyway. This newsletter is beyond them anyway.

  • mukhi

    unfortunately, i had to do many times what Tom does . i get really annoyed when a sender dispatches several emails in a month just for ad purpose in different ways. i get even more annoyed when “unsubscribe” does not work. however, i get pi$$ed off when the “unsubscribe” link does not exist and/or it is difficult.
    but your mails are different. it instantly gives me an idea about the new article. if i like it, i open it, save the mail for future reference if i require; if i don’t like it or don’t need it at all, i delete the mail immediately. simple.

  • Ashraf

    @jayesstee: That could be a potential solution except that there will be too much subscriber loss, not only the guys that are no longer interested but also the guys who simply forget or don’t know that they have to resubscribe.

  • jayesstee

    I can’t speak for all email providers,but (even) Gmail’s excellent spam filtering service gets it wrong occasionally by deciding that a regular email has now become spam. I check a couple of times a week and correct them, but if not checked it could build up and cause this sort of problem.
    Depending on how big your subscriber base is, one solution might be to cancel all subscribers after warning them and asking them to re-subscribe. The no-shows would be the ‘no longer interested’ guys.

    I agree, if multiple requests to unsubscribe are ignored, then by definition they ARE spam.

  • Ashraf

    @Tom: Unsubscribe service is working perfectly fine. Ask any of the thousands of people who have subscribed then unsubscribed over the years. The person in question didnt bother to unsubscribe — I manually have removed them now.
    @Hal: Thanks :-)

  • Hal

    Shame people can not take the time to do things properly, and just unsubscribe.
    I do admit I have done that making as spam on a couple but also have seen 10+ requests to be removed, and they still have not…
    But would never do that here, cause love all the e-mails I get from you Ashrat….even saved a lot for future reference

  • Tom

    I can’t speak for the subscriber who labeled your emails as spam, but I will tell you that after I’ve unsubscribed from various email letters, if I continue to receive unsolicited email, I auto-mark continuing “unsubscribed” email as “spam”.

    The question you should instead ask is whether your “unsubscribe” service is properly (and promptly) working. Just a thought. As you said, this was a long time subscriber, so I suspect that there is more here than someone simply being “pi##ed off”. 2¢