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Old 07-16-2008, 04:04 AM   #1
Wim Sturkenboom
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[Bulk email]how to prevent being considered a spammer


For a hiking club, I occasionally have to send an email to members and non-members for upcoming events from my private email.

The problem I encounter is that there is a limit on the number of recipients in the 'rcpt to' field (or on the length of this field according to RFC2822) although I used the bcc field to ensure recipients privacy

While looking around for a program that can do bulk emailing on a per address basis and checking some of the 'bounced' emails, I'm getting worried that these mails are considered spam and that my ISP gets blacklisted which will affect me as well as others.

How do I prevent this to be considered spam?
I've found this thread from 2006 where unSpawn gives some advice
- use the appropriate header; can someone shine some light on what this refers to (I supposse email headers) and what appropriate is?

Relevant links are fine, but I need a starting point (research on the web did not give usefull info, but that might be as I don't know exactly what I have to look for).

thanks in advance

Last edited by Wim Sturkenboom; 07-16-2008 at 05:26 AM. Reason: Changed title
 
Old 07-16-2008, 04:09 AM   #2
Mr. C.
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If you are running your own mail server, you can use a mailing list server such as Mailman or Majordomo.

If you using your ISPs server, or other, I don't have an suggestions other than to break do your recipient lists into manageable pieces. Or you could create a group list on something like Yahoo Groups and manage all your postings that way.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 05:10 AM   #3
Wim Sturkenboom
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Hi Mr.C,

thanks. I don't run my own mail server, so that's not a solution. I did break it down, but I'm actually looking for a simple program that can read addresses from a file and send each address an email. Content will be in another file.
Writing it myself is not a big issue, but if it's available I don't see why I have to invent it again.

With regards to being considered a spammer, I (eventually) found some usefull stuff by using google and just type a full sentence:
google for how to prevent being considered a spammer got me somewhere (tsjee, that was easy)

Still leaves the question what unSpawn meant by 'appropriate headers' although that might a suggestion not to fake fields.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 05:51 AM   #4
ilikejam
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Assuming sendmail/postfix/exim is set up to relay through your ISP's mail server (should be roughly a single line edit in the appropriate config file):
Code:
for go in `cat addresses`; do cat emailFile | mailx -s "Hiking mailshot" $go; done
If the email is more complex than plain text, you could create the emailFile by sending yourself the email you want to send, then copy-pasting the message body source to a text file.

Quick and dirty, and might take a while to send each. email. individually., but should work OK.

Dave

Last edited by ilikejam; 07-16-2008 at 05:52 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 06:26 AM   #5
Wim Sturkenboom
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Hi Dave,

Sorry if it's not clear, but I'm using a simple desktop environment for this (so no sendmail, postfix etc if I'm not mistaken; have to check tonight to be sure).
 
Old 07-16-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
ilikejam
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Hi.

Some kind of SMTP demon's usually installed and running even on desktop distros to handle cron output and that sort of thing, so you'll probably be in luck.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:42 AM   #7
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wim Sturkenboom View Post
Still leaves the question what unSpawn meant by 'appropriate headers' although that might a suggestion not to fake fields.
Since I don't go chasing threads with my handle in it it's just luck to happen on it. Maybe next time anyone would like me to clarify my own writings drop me a quick e-mail with the threadid... The header I was talking about is the "X-Precedence: Bulk" header, explained along with more useful hints in the Google Bulk Senders Guidelines: https://mail.google.com/support/bin/...y?answer=81126. If you don't have an MTA installed then some MUAs like Thunderbird allow you to add headers (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Custom_headers) or you can probably add it as part of say a "here" shellscript if you're going to talk to a mailer directly. (Another header that seems to be regarded as positive is the List-Unsubscribe one (http://www.list-unsubscribe.com/), but since you're not in the UBE/UCE business and probably w/o automated subscribe/unsubscribe stuff this doesn't apply to you I'm sure.) Another way to send bulk e-mail to a select group of users could be to use a free on-line listserv, Yahoo groups or whatever else on offer these days. Searching for "free mailing list provider" could do the trick, let's just hope it's a reputable one wrt Blackhole databases.
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:42 AM   #8
Su-Shee
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In principle, you can wrap your usual email client into the for loop - mutt for example accepts mail from command line and can put any text you'd like to send into the body of the mail.

Should actually really just be a oneliner.

for adress in whateveropenedfile loop thingie in your favorite lang/shell

mutt -i your.mail -s foobar $adress < /dev/null

Or, even for html mail:

mutt -i your.html -e "my_hdr Content-Type: text/html" -s foobar $adress < /dev/null
 
Old 07-17-2008, 12:22 AM   #9
Wim Sturkenboom
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Thanks, I have something to study.

@unSpawn
I did consider to kick the other thread or to send you a pm but decided against it. If you would read this one, it would have been great, else someone else might have known what you were referring to and if that did not work, it would have been tough luck for me.
But I will keep it in mind.
 
Old 07-17-2008, 12:56 AM   #10
Mr. C.
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Be aware that some of the big mail players (ehem, yahoo...) will delay your mail attempts, often severely, if mail sent is not rate limited. AoL, Yahoo and others offer bulk-senders (non-spam) mechanisms to bypass some heavy-handed, but necessary anti-spam measures.

What is considered bulk - that's up to each mail organization. Getting blacklisted is easy - getting off a list is hard, so do some homework before firing off 1000 messages to Yahoo or AoL. One primary difference between an SMTP sending agent (sendmail) and an MTA is the ability to manage queues, and they typically batch delivery by domain to minimize transactions. This won't be accomplished by a shell script loop, which actually makes one look more like a spammer.

Just some thoughts...
 
Old 07-17-2008, 01:19 AM   #11
fsbooks
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Please note that even mail from a hiking club can be considered SPAM to many people. I personally avoid like the plague getting on the mailing lists of local organizations, picking a choosing carefully. There are people who may just report it to their ISP as SPAM and can be used in algorithms to label your mail to other people. I have run local mailing lists. In the beginning I asked for a confirmation that the person had received the email. I also gave very explicit instructions for how to get off the mailing list. People appreciate it.
 
  


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