Your periodic reminder: Please register with abuse.net

If you're an email marketer, a compliance or deliverability specialist at an ESP, if you work for an email platform, or if you're a marketing manager who manages a lot of outbound email streams, I ask that you register all of your domains with abuse.net.

Abuset.net, the Network Abuse Clearinghouse, run by John Levine, is a simple, centralized database of spam contact information for different domains. John, who has managed this serviced for many years, has done the internet community a very good service by helping to make it easier for people and automation to send spam reports to the right place.

What is the right place? Whatever address your platform uses to accept inbound spam complaint reports. Don't register your personal email address here-- it's meant for common "role" accounts (like abuse@domain) that are set up to do things like record the complaint and generate a support or compliance ticket for further review and possible investigation. It's a tool for the abuse desk, not the regular joe user.

If you're not sure what address to register, check with your email platform, ESP or ISP to ask them where spam reports should be sent. If you want to keep an eye on complaints as well, you might want to create an "abuse" address for your domain and route it to a shared mailbox or email distribution list and include that address as well. But keep in mind that there's an expectation that you'll actually investigate each spam complaint you receive-- it's very bad form to simply ignore complaints.

Inviting spam complaints is a good thing, not a scary thing. Just getting complaints doesn't mean you're a bad sender. Get too many, or if the complaints reveal that you've been buying lists, then that's a problem. But the fact of a complaint itself alone does not mean you're a bad guy. And if somebody sends you a complaint after truly opting-in to your list, you'll be able to unsubscribe them from your list, to prevent them from receiving any additional email from you. This is good for you and good for the subscriber. Sometimes people do complain about mail they've signed up for, and sometimes they do just want to be removed from the list.

How to register your domain(s) for abuse.net: See here.

How to use abuse.net to figure out where to report a spam email message you've received? Stay tuned, as I'm going to blog more about that in the near future.

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