[unisog] off topic: mass emailing

Peter C. Lai peter at simons-rock.edu
Wed Sep 22 00:39:20 GMT 2010

On 2010-09-21 06:40:06AM +0000, Andrew Cormack wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: unisog-bounces at lists.dshield.org [mailto:unisog-
> > bounces at lists.dshield.org] On Behalf Of Rick Hayter
> > Sent: 17 September 2010 19:04
> > To: UNIversity Security Operations Group
> > Subject: Re: [unisog] off topic: mass emailing
> > 
> > Thanks, Allan (for your comments AND for not sending the diatribe! :)
> > 
> > We haven't reached the spam level yet, but your right, it's something
> > to be concerned about.
> Quite a few UK universities hit the spam level surprisingly early when students or staff forwarded their mail off to a commercial webmail service, then found it easier to hit the (large, prominent) "Mark as spam" button than to find out how to get off the list. It doesn't take many of those to lose all communication with your potential students *and* alumni on Hotmail/Gmail/Yahoo/etc.: something that may be worth mentioning to those who are keen to do mass-mailings :-(

This is what certain commercial companies exist to do. There are companies
like Convio and Vertical Response that will mail constituents on your 
institution's behalf. You contract with them to provide "spam" support
services based on volume of email (usually some sort of prorated  
# of emails per semester * # of contacts per email sent). You set their 
mail servers as authenticated senders in your SPF records to avoid problems
with forged .edu envelopes.

One of the advantages to outsourcing is they handle all of the bouncebacks,
double-opt-out/canspam unsubscriptions, and whitelisting.

Peter C. Lai                 | Bard College at Simon's Rock
Systems Administrator        | 84 Alford Rd.
Information Technology Svcs. | Gt. Barrington, MA 01230 USA
peter AT simons-rock.edu     | (413) 528-7428

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