Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 2000)

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Subject: Re: A lesson about verifying transferred lists
From: "Mike Avery" <mavery @ mail . otherwhen . com>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 11:45:47 -0600
To: <List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
In-reply-to: <B0009454461 @ bangkok . digi-net . com>
Reply-to: mavery @ mail . otherwhen . com

On 2 Mar 2000, at 8:42, tanny wrote:

> >>we went
> >>back to the client and said the only way we could handle their
> >>list was if everyone was required to opt-in once again.

> >I believe you overreacted, though there's certainly no harm in it. At
> > least, not at this point ...
> I must say I have some sympathy with Sharons concern regarding
> complaints generated from her new clients list.
> I think it's important to recognize there is a difference between
> being the owner of a handful of lists, and a host for many paying
> clients.   I would also keep in mind that no ISP I've ever met has the
> time or inclination to launch a detailed investigation in to a
> specific spam complaint.   Rather, they judge you by the volume of
> complaints they receive about you, without a lot of regard to the
> exact validity of any specific complaint.   
> Anyone who is now inclined to advise me to get a new ISP would receive
> this question:  Can I put the  600,000 sometimes irrational readers we
> serve on your T-1?   What's your comfort level with death threats?   
> :-)
> I wouldn't care to advise Sharon on exactly how she should respond to
> this particular situation, she knows her business better than I
> obviously.   But I do have an appreciation of the fact that someone in
> her position has to take all complaints, valid or invalid, very
> seriously.   Logic and common sense is a poor guide to this issue in
> my experience.

Well.... Vince has excellent experience and has been around mailing 
lists a long time.  I host a number of lists.  One of the moderators 
has slowed down of late.  And, as a result, I think Vince is right.  
People lose interest.  People change ISP's.  People forget stuff.

So... let's imagine we lowered the curtain on this list for two months.  
And then we moved it to a new provider, let's say  And 
then we sent out a note on the list.  Suddenly, even though the first 
message started out with, "Hi, we've moved to OneList!", the stuff 
would hit the fan.

If the switch-over coincided with a semester break, the "death rate" 
would be higher - schools change student accounts, companies move 
their staff to coincide with school schedules - so somewhere from 2 
to 8 percent of the addresses would become invalid and bounce.  If 
you have software (like Vince's) that handles bounces, that's 
background noise.

More will forget that they were ever in a list called List-Managers.  
And some will get pissy because it's on OneList now.  So there will be 
hate mail.

Even on lists that have had no hiatus I've had people write me that 
they've been trying to unsubscribe for two years (note... unsubing is 
easy, and each message has instructions in it... I imagine them 
hunkered over their keyboard for two years, "No, I can't come to 
bed yet, I haven't managed to unsubscribe from this list!!!")

There is a reason old Unix admins call 'em lusers.

I don't think after two months of no service a 2% bounce rate, or 
even 8%, is all that high.  And two complaints isn't bad either.

I recently dealt with a company that had been harvesting email 
addresses from their web page for several years without using them. 
It is a software house that markets a fairly well regarded email 
package.  They needed to inform people that there was a Y2K issue, 
and how to resolve it.  Many people put in bad email addresses.  
Many people moved in the two years.  I had over a 30% bounce rate. 
And many angry complaints.  "Who are you?  How did you get my 
name?"  *sigh*  One person tried to get me in trouble with my ISP.  
I have been dealing with them for years, so I called 'em and 
explained.  Another turned me into orbs.  Since I don't relay, I'm 
not listed there.

Y'know... the levels of problems dealt the first poster had to deal 
with just don't seem that severe to me.... they sound like a vacation!

(Who won't handle another mass mailing like that one...)

Mike Avery                            MAvery @
 mail .
 otherwhen .
                                         (409)-842-2942 (voice)
                                           (409)-842-4352 (FAX)
                                                  ICQ: 16241692

* Spam is for lusers who can't get business any other way *

A Randomly Selected Thought For The Day:
Hane's Law: There is no limit to how bad things can get.

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From: tanny <tanny @ oaknetpub . com>
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From: "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg @ monkeys . com>
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From: tanny <tanny @ oaknetpub . com>
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