Bulk Email Campaign (not spam)


#1

I’m creating an email campaign system for the company I work for. It’s going to have email lists/subscribe/unsubscribe functionality etc etc for each client we have. They’ll have the option of setting up email campaigns and sending emails to hundreds or thousands of (opt-in) people.

But my problem is that the email campaign system and clients’ websites are going to be sitting on the same server. Any emails sent out (via sendmail) on the clients sites will come from the same server as the email campaign system. Therefore I don’t want to blacklist the server we use for websites by sending thousands (hundreds of thousands?!) of emails from the campaign system.

Is there someway/someone of sending the emails for us? Perhaps upload a list of emails addresses and content for the message and they would send them out? That way, they might get blacklisted but our sites would be still safe.
Would it be ok to setup a queue system on the server to only send 10-100 emails a minute/hour (although this might hamper the email campaigns of multiple clients) and not get blacklisted?
Are there any email carriers or hosts that provide this sort of functionality or even allow bulk mail in their T&Cs? Would it be a case of hosting the site on another server until we get chucked off and then set it up on another one? =/

There are plenty of complete packages out there, especially desktop solutions. But I need some sort of API or command line tool so that I can send emails via scripts instead of GUIs. We can’t opt for a package that already exists because it needs to be integrated with the systems we currently have and branded to our clients.


#2

Actually, that won’t matter on DH.
If you’re actually spamming, complaints about the spamvertized website in the email will be quite enough to get you TOSsed by DH - a policy with which I am in wholehearted agreement with.

If you’re not spamming, then I would recommend you keep a VERY careful and detailed audit of a CONFIRMED OPT-IN. By “confirmed”, I mean:
1…Site visitor puts email address in website for subscription. Note that for additional abuse prevention a captcha should also be implemented
2…Web program records email address, date, time, and IP address of incoming subscription request.
3…Web program then sends a brief subscription confirmation mail and link to the allegedly subscribed email address to confirm the opt-in information.
4…Keep meticulously-maintained infor on the above sign-up and confirmation information.

And still, none of that is any guarantee that someone who has legitimately subscribed won’t report you as spam, so be prepared for poo to make its way into the fan blades no matter what you decide.


#3

Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunatly, the system will be for/used by other companies, so I can’t control who they put on the lists. I can filter out bounced emails but can’t control opt-in/out unless the client wants us to manage that.

How do the other many email campaign companies get around this problem? Own their own mail server? Any ideas of who to use?


#4

That’s a rough one, primarily because the situation you just described, coupled with the ignorance of what constitutes spam, in general, on the part of many (most?) marketers (your clients) is a “classic” recipe for spamming.

As far as I know, for what you are describing you will most likely end up having to use a “spam friendly” mail service (there are several, but I won’t tout them here); doing that will most likely get you TOSsed in relatively short order from DH if that spam can be related in any way to a DH hosted site.

While your intentions may be entirely “legit”, you won’t be able to control your clients with a system set up the way you describe, and, to a certain degree, you will be blamed for what they do.

Your alternatives are the same as any “spammer”; find spam friendly hosting and mail service (increasingly harder to do, thankfully!), or run your own web and email server (which will most likely be quickly blocked by many providers); rinse, and repeat as necessary when booted or no longer functional.

Not real encouraging, I know, but that is how I view the current state of affairs. Good Luck!

–rlparker


#5

Then my bet is you’re not going to be hosted here for very long unless you process your mail elsewhere. On a sheerly personal note, I would add that I don’t think much of your business model in that regard either, but not knowing the details may or may not mitigate that opinion.

That sort of listwashing won’t help the potential spamming problem at all.

Then that’s precisely what you should do; do not offer service to any company that will not allow you to manage the process. Your customers will get better service and you will get more billable hours out of the process, and most importantly, the rest of us may get less spam.

Many don’t; they use proxies in foreign countries and/or zombie-bot networks to send spam.

In some cases, but most hide behind proxies.

Yes, but I’m certainly not going to post them here. Have a look at the SBL list on spamhaus.org and pick one of the many blacklisted domains offering that sort of unrestricted bulk email and select away.


#6

You might want to have a look at the DreamHost spam/bulk email policy here. In particular the part where DreamHost may want to see the records relating to the opt-ins including IP addresses. Since you would be the account holder you would be expected to have all that information to hand rather than a third party have it.

With the limitations on the number of emails per hour already set by DreamHost it could take you a while to send out any large numbers of email.

You might want to try Google to see if you can find any suitable bulk emailer companies.


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!