Sometimes, I could just go “aaaarrgh” for a whole day. That is usually the case when Stuff Happens (TM)… like the current Stuff with the newsletter list for the Textile Forum. Let me share the sigh-worthy sad story with you.
Once upon a time, I thought it would be a good idea to change the website from the old version to a shiny new one… and it was. It also meant transferring the email list for the newsletter to a new newsletter sending thingummy, which I did, and I’m basically really happy about the move. But. But… here comes the big thing.
When I did the change, I accidentally did not set the whole thing to be double-opt-in. You know, when you subscribe to a newsletter or something and you get this slightly annoying email asking you to click the link to confirm your subscription? Well.
Turns out that this is really, really a good thing because it means bots or weird people will not subscribe random innocent bystanders to your random innocent newsletter list. Which, unfortunately, happened to the Forum list. And we’re not talking about just a few dozen here – it is actually… thousands. Freaking thousands. Which is more than a nuisance, since my maximum of emails to send out per hour via my provider is rather small, so it takes a lot of time to get all these out. A honking huge lot of time. Like… several days of time.
It also means that I have, without ever wanting to, turned into a spammer sending unsolicited emails to people who have no idea how they ended up on this list, and feel quite annoyed by the email (as some comments in the unsubscription survey straightforwardly, and in no unclear words, let me know). I have, however, no really good way to find out if the subscription was legitimate or not.
To add to the complications, when I set the thing to “double-opt-in” after noticing, it turned these thousands into unconfirmed users – and again, I don’t know whether they should be confirmed or not. And this happened three quarters through the sending of the newsletter… so I might just have to re-send the confirmation request email for those that did not get the newsletter, and then see what happens.
This is all annoying, and I am rather unhappy about bothering people with unsolicited email. Sigh.
So. Moral of the story? If you do a newsletter, always, always do a double-opt-in. If you get a newsletter that you never subscribed to, you might have been subscription bombed (something I also learned about today – it’s someone else submitting your mail to newsletters). And if the newsletter senders are small fish like me, you might even do them a favour if you unsubscribe.