Wombatmail COI/DOI update: Now with reCAPTCHA!

Verifying email addresses through methods akin to what we now think of as confirmed opt-in (COI) or (DOI) isn't a new thing. Mailing list software Majordomo added support for verifying new signups way back in 1996. I don't remember exactly when it became common to validate that opt-in via an email click, but I remember building email click tracking -- sending out a unique indicator per subscriber and taking action or updating a status -- for my own purposes way back in late 1997 as part of a spam filtering system I had built at the time. Then in 1998 I started a COI/DOI email list for my friend's jazz club using custom code (not captured by the Internet Archive until 2001). So, it's been done before.

But enough about ancient history. In this modern age, it has been best practice for a while now to include some form of CAPTCHA on signup forms to try to stop bots from filling your email newsletter signup or registration forms with garbage
. Why bad guys bother to try to abuse forms in this way, I just don't understand. But it happens and it causes trouble for senders.

Adding ReCAPTCHA to my own email signup script (Wombatmail) is something that has been on my own to-do list for a hot minute -- mostly because it's a good idea, but also because some goofball has been trying to slow bomb people via my Spam Resource email signup form. Perhaps pointlessly so, as I already had a few anti-abuse features in place, but still. So, I have finally implemented Google's reCAPTCHA on my double opt-in signup process code hosted over on Wombatmail.

If you'd like to see a demo of the new process, click on over to here and sign on up. I won't do anything with the signups; you'll get no spam from me. If you submit your address, you'll get a COI/DOI verification email, and if you confirm your signup, you'll get a welcome email. And if you unsub, you'll get a goodbye email. That's all, nothing more.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Let me know if you found my process or code example useful? Thanks in advance.

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