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Text vs. HTML E-mail and Spam Complaints

I just broadcasted my first AimDIRECT “Message from the Editor” mailing at about 3AM this morning. Woohoo! Mailing #1 for 2005!!

This message was sent as text only since I noticed late last year that response was slowing down, and wondered if it had anything to do with sending out my messages as HTML. I wonder no more. The response shot through the roof, clickthrus are at an all time high, and orders are coming in like it’s nobody’s business… so, all is well in “Carmen Land,” right?

You decide.

This morning, my web host notified me that I received eleven… yes, ELEVEN spam complaints. Ten from AOL subscribers who hit the “Report Spam” button, and one from someone who complained to SpamCop.

Quite disturbing considering all my readers have subscribed through my websites with double opt-in, or from the LeadFactory co-reg service. I also have some subscribers who were imported from when I originally (pre Y2K) used Brian Garvin’s “Opt-In Lightning” script, up until I switched to “AutoResponse Plus3”, but, they’re all confirmed opt-in as well.

The support guy at my web hosting company has been very helpful in trying to figure out what has gone awry. From what we’ve assessed, the complaints seem to bear four things in common. 1) AOL subscribers, 2) Subscribed pre Y2K, 3) Requested HTML version of my ezine, 4) Originally from OIL script. It gets interesting… keep reading.

Apparently, although these subscribers chose to receive their ezine in HTML format, not all of the issues have successfully arrived in their mailboxes. I know some messages were received, because a few of the “complaining” e-mail addresses clicked through links in several of my mailings from the past and did not unsubscribe.

Well, they must’ve not heard from me long enough (due to the HTML messages not being delivered) to ‘forget’ they were subscribed to my ezine, prompting them to click on the AOL spam button, and even reporting me to SpamCop when they received my recent text formatted message.

Not good.

Keeping in mind these commonalities, I’ve decided to remove all AOL subscribers who were imported from the OIL database (not including those who responded to my recent message, of course) just to be safe.

The more reason why it’s a good idea to add an RSS feed to notify your subscribers of new posts, in addition to mailing out your usual ezines and newsletters via e-mail.

Now, off to delete them buggy subscribers and reorganize my setup!

Spam Arrest = Ego Squasher
I'm So Loving Aweber.com : )


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