Can I operate email mailing lists?

We do allow the use of email mailing lists but there are some conditions in place.

Firstly, we do not allow 'safe lists' or other similar schemes whereby advertisers trade email contacts. In addition to this, the vast majority of email address lists available for sale on the internet as 'legitimate opt-in lists of contacts who have agreed to be sent advertising emails' are fake and will lead to large numbers of spam reports so we do not allow the use of these purchased lists - all addresses on a mailing list must agree to be sent emails specifically with the website sending the emails (see below).

We recommend the use of an application called Dada Mail due to it's large amount of features, ease of use and server resource usage (eg ability to 'send in smaller batches').

Operating mailing lists using a basic home made script or a non mailing list application (eg forum application 'Email All' feature) is not recommended due to the lack of options and flexibility with these methods. You should also NOT be using your own home computer to batch send out endless emails via our servers either, as this will ensure that all emails over the 200 outgoing per hour will bounce.

Operating a mailing list from your own desktop computer does not give users the legal requirement to "opt-out" instantly, and shows no proof that your mailing list has not been purchased elsewhere, or that any of the email addresses are even kept up-to-date.

Dada Mail is free and can be found here: http://mojo.skazat.com

Anyone operating a mailing list should first pay careful attention to our terms and conditions in this area where we set out some rules relating to:

* Absolutely no spam (unsolicited bulk email)
* All subscribers to the mailing list must have specifically agreed to be on the list and receive mailings via opt-in methods (opting in with the site sending the emails)
* All mailings must contain clear and concise unsubscription instructions
* All mailings must contain a passage detailing why the email is being sent and why they are listed

We require that anyone operating a mailing list follows the points above to minimise problems with mailings.

Double Opt-In

An opt-in method of list subscription is where the subscriber asks to be put on the list by, for example, by entering their email address in a website form to become subscribed. We require that list administrators employ double opt-in methods whereby the subscriber has to authorise being added to the list after submitting their email address. This usually takes the form of an automated email being sent to the address submitted where a link needs to be clicked to confirm the subscription.

Not only does this get extra confirmation from the client, it also ensures that the email address is valid (avoiding problems with email bounces when sending to the list) and also that the email address is owned by the person subscribing (avoiding problems with people entering addresses not owned by them on website forms).

List administrators are also asked to keep evidence/logs of the date and method that subscribers agreed to be included in the mailing list.

Unsubscribe Instructions

All emails sent to the mailing list must contain clear instructions for unsubscription. We require that subscribers are offered the ability to unsubscribe via an online web link (most mailing software is capable of this) and not by replying to the email with a special subject line as most do not feel comfortable replying to an email they consider as unwanted. In addition, we ask that the instructions for unsubscribing to the email are shown clearly (not in tiny text) both at the top of the email or at the bottom (or just at the top at least).

Email content

We ask that emails sent to mailing lists do not primarily focus on advertising websites owned/operated by the client that are not hosted with us. To advertise these websites a mailing list should be operating on the server/provider they are hosted on. We also ask that all emails contain an opening paragraph detailing who the email is from, why it is being sent (eg because the subscriber asked to be kept informed via the list) and what the email is about (eg advertising new product line). We ask that websites are clear on the volume of mailings (eg weekly, monthly, etc) and content of mailings (eg announcements only, sales, etc) so that the subscriber can see this before subscribing. Also, in order to help greatly if spam complaints do occur, we ask that the subscribers email address is included somewhere within the email so we know who the complaint is from.

This can be put in the email headers, within the content or embedded within the unsubscribe link (preferred method).

Single Opt-Out

We ask that those operating mailing lists allow unsubscriptions (opt-out's) with no email confirmation or other additional tasks required by those unsubscribing. If a subscriber clicks the unsubscribe link in the mailing their email address should then be removed from the database with no email confirmation required.

Example email:

 An example of a mailing list email which compilies with the above requirements is shown below:

Joe Bloggs,

--------------

This email is being sent to you (email@address.com) because you are subscribed to the 'New Products' mailing list operated by The Online Clothing Company, after submitting the subscription form on our website (http://www.clothingcompany.com) and verified the email address.

If you wish to unsubscribe, please click here: http://www.clothingcompany.com/listunsubscribe.php?email=email@address.com

-------------- ** mailing list email content here ** --------------

The operator of this mailing list can be contacted as shown below:
The Online Clothing Company, Address, Phone Number

If you wish to unsubscribe from future mailings, please click here:
http://www.clothingcompany.com/listunsubscribe.php?email=email@address.com

To alter your subscription options please click here:
http://www.clothingcompany.com/listoptions.php?email=email@address.com

--------------

The guidelines above should result in no (or very few) problems relating to spam reports being sent by receivers of email they consider as spam which by law we are required to investigate with utmost urgency. Despite the above we maintain the right to suspend any mailing list which generates a large number of abuse complaints in order to keep a server from being blacklisted and causing email problems for all other clients.

CAUTION: Should you choose to join a 3rd party mailing list or newsletter, this can still be reported as spamvertising but generally wont get our servers blacklisted as the email is not originating from our network, but do be careful with this as some ISP's can blacklist your domain name.

If you want to send out bulk mail to your customers, or another companies customers, obtain proof of where they gather their mailing lists from, or better still just avoid them all together. If you are not sure in any way at all, contact our helpdesk and ASK before acting. If you find your website has been suspended and you are now wanting to complain, please do NOT say we didn't warn you. These articles are here for your benefit only, so the "I didn't know" is not going to get your website online again. If you put us at risk, or our other customers, we will not hesitate to suspend your account until further notice while we deal with the spam complaints raised by YOUR actions.

Blacklisting awareness and compensation!

It is the sole responsibility of the cPanel account holder to ensure you MUST understand anti-spam laws, have read and understood our guidelines above on operating mailing lists and guarantee to keep every peice of software related to your account with us, up-to-date and secure.

This includes your actual website and your own computer and all of its software.

You also agree that if your website is found to be the cause of ANY spam outbreak and/or our server being blacklisted, you will compensate us via invoice, within 7 days of incident, the sum of £50+vat per incident.

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