Top 4 CAN-SPAM Myths

Here are quick links to all four posts in my past three part series (uh, what?) on CAN-SPAM Myths.
If you're looking for more guidance on CAN-SPAM, consider that CAN-SPAM non-compliance can have a negative impact on your deliverability. Looking for a helpful checklist to confirm CAN-SPAM compliance? Mickey Chandler has that for you.

If you're an average joe user trying to deal with a sender who's not respecting the CAN-SPAM law, here are my tips on what to do about that.

And finally, here's a link to my older CAN-SPAM information roundup.

Rendering & CAN-SPAM Compliance

Chad White, Research Director for Smith-Harmon, published a great post yesterday on why image rendering is important for CAN-SPAM compliance. In it, he highlights an example email, where some sort of rendering issue results in the unsubscribe links and sender information to be white text on a white background. This makes the unsubscribe link totally unreadable, not legally compliant, and will probably cause an increase in spam complaints. YUCK.

I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but the company mentioned in the example email is doing something that bad guys have been doing for a long time: Obfuscating unsubscribe links and sender info. Hiding it in difficult to read colors or using images to try to encode it in a way to bypass certain kinds of spam filters. This is yet another example of, "if you don't want to be perceived as a bad guy, you need to stop doing what bad guys do."

Changes to

I just posted information on changes to over on DNSBL Resource. Looks like they're moving to a for-pay model, for at least large volume queries. Can't say that I blame them; if it is costing them money to keep their project alive, at some point it seems inevitable to turn to users to help provide financial support. Do any of you use I'm not overly familiar with them.

Godaddy blocklisted by AHBL

The outbound mail servers used by Godaddy hosting customers appear to be blocklisted by the Abusive Hosts Blocking List (AHBL). Over in this Godaddy Community Forums thread, a Godaddy representative named ChrisG seems to be implying to complaining clients that AHBL is unreliable: "We strongly recommend using consistently reliable block listing services such as You would want to contact the ISP/Email provider and insist that they do not use AHBL's listings as legitimate emails being sent to you are being denied because of their listing."

Friday Funny: I Need Your Legal Advice

Warning: This clip has a tiny bit of NSFW language in it.

When consulting, you want to give good advice. But sometimes, just sometimes, you're confronted with a client utilizing some completely non-salvageable bad practice, and they fight and fight and fight you on it and just don't want to listen. They always want to know what ELSE can be done to fix the issue, short of actually fixing the issue. Here is the best advice a consultant can give in those situations.

Selling Customer Data: Good idea?

What does Scott Adams think?

Selling customer data like email addresses to third parties is like selling expired, rotting milk to a foreign country that has no laws against that sort of thing. It may be totally legal, but you're setting up the buyer for a future failure. Buyer beware.

Mediacom Outbound Mail Servers

If you're the type who likes to whitelist IP addresses used for ISP outbound email traffic, here's an update for you, courtesy of the Mailop mailing list. Cable internet provider Mediacom has announced that they've brought two new mail server IP addresses live:, This is in addition to their existing outbound mail servers located at,,,, and

Payday Loan Marketer Settles with FTC

If you ask me, payday loans are a permission challenged industry, when it comes to email marketing. Companies are buying leads, selling leads, working with multiple data partners, emailing at a high frequency, always pushing to get more mail out, find new signup streams, etc.

Ask Al:

A reader wrote in with the following question/complaint about I'm going to post this one anonymously. The reader wrote, "I would like to request a review of I would like to know if I am the only one that has communication problems with them. Their delisting instructions are basically non-existent, and my last attempts to communicate with them have takes upwards of two weeks to even get a response. I believe the listings last an incredibly long time and that their communication and delisting process is extremely poor. I would like to know what your opinion of them as a reputable RBL would be. Perhaps it is just me with the problem."

Magill Has Questions

Ken Magill has questions about my prior post. And yes, you do have to move to Holland.