White House Spam, Signup Forgery, and GovDelivery

As guest blogger Jaren Angerbauer mentioned on Friday, after this whole White House spam email debacle, they promised to "implement measures" to verify and validate email addresses. So far, there's no externally visible proof that they've actually implemented any such measures, the most obvious one being a simple and clear double opt-in (aka confirmed opt-in) signup process.

Guest Post: Email and the White House

Today's guest post comes to us courtsey of Jaren Angerbauer, the founder and CEO of DeliveryVision, an email delivery consulting firm. Jaren has more than nine years of experience in the email deliverability space, and has established himself as an expert in the industry. Jaren also is an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University, where he teaches about email messaging technologies. Jaren lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is also an accomplished violist, and performs with professional ensembles on a regular basis. Take it away, Jaren!

Blocking specific domains?

Over on the Word to the Wise blog, Laura Atkins answers the question, is it wise for senders to block mail to various anti-spam companies? Read on for my take on the practice.

Ask Al: Not Receiving any emails!

Tami writes, "I've got a bit of a different problem than most. I own a small business and am afraid when people are emailing me to enter my 'Gift Box Drawing' that their emails aren't making it to me. I get absolutely nothing in my Norton anti-spam folder in Outlook Express. How do I get the messages so I can decide if I want to delete them or not?"

AOL to Stop Sending Report Cards

AOL says: "We are no longer sending report cards. If you have a complaint feedback loop, make sure you are monitoring your spam complaints and not relying on the report card to alert you to complaint issues."

More on Email Forwarding (and Fastmail.fm)

Following up to my recent post about email forwarding, Rob Mueller wrote in, talking up his particular email provider. It's called Fastmail.fm.

And the Most Popular Email Service Is...

Lifehacker reports that in their non-scientific reader poll, most of their users use Gmail as their email platform of choice. Is that surprising?

Permission Marketing: A Loaded Term?

I was talking to a group of friends the other day, and the topic of discussion turned to the term "Permission Marketing." How useless it is as a measure of best practices. Every ESP (email service provider) or direct sender uses the term, making it entirely neutral as a measure of whether or not a company is a spammer, or if they're a provider that would allow spammers on their network.

Wholesale e-mail data? Uh, no.

In Dissecting a Pitch that Smells, Ken Magill tears apart an email list offer that smells too good to be true. Ken runs down the myriad of reasons why you should never trust anybody wanting to sell you an email list, from the open question of who the vendor actually is, how they hide behind anonymizing WHOIS services and PO boxes, and how their sample data is obviously garbage.

Not to mention, if any of those email addresses are indeed valid, they didn't sign up to receive emails from anyone who buys that list. Making it spam.

Ask Al: Spam From Me To Me?

Dennis writes, "I don't send these various emails under my AOL address, but other people get them, and I get them myself. How can I notify AOL of this and hopefully get it stopped. I've changed my password, which was recommended, but such emails continue." 

Do you use SpamAssassin?

If you're a SpamAssassin user, I recommend you swing over to my DNSBL Resource site and read about the dead bl.open-whois.org blacklist -- it's used by default in up-to-date SpamAssassin installs, and it's probably slowing down final delivery of your inbound email messages due to DNS timeouts.

Yahoo handles email for Verizon?

No, not exactly. But, according to Mickey Chandler, it looks as though Verizon customers can have their account configured so that mail sent to their Verizon.net mailbox actually lands at AOL, Yahoo or MSN/Windows Live. Confused? So am I. Read all about it over at Mickey's great Spamtacular blog.

Neat Trick: Forwarding Webmail into Work Email

I've worked at a number of places over the years, with a ton of good folks, many of whom I consider friends. I keep in touch with just about all of them, via your typical social networking channels, but also directly via email. (After all, email is in my blood.)