To Unsubscribe Or To Unsubscribe?

Electronic Email Spam I received an email yesterday asking to be unsubscribed from the double opt-in daily newsletter which goes out from this site.

Now, despite the, as stated, double opt-in nature of signing up for a newsletter with Feedburner, what confused me about this email was that the sender was afraid of using the “Unsubscribe now” link at the bottom of the email for fear it would verify existence of their email to a spammer.

I don't believe I ever subscribed to this newsletter.  Someone at your end must have decided to include me in your mailing list, without reference to me.  Usually it is not a good idea to click the "unsubscribe" link on this sort of spam -- it simply confirms one's existence to the spammers

Yet, they were completely content to hit the reply button and send an email asking to be unsubscribed directly to the email address which the newsletter originated from.

I for one am not afraid to use “Unsubscribe” links on email newsletters as I keep track of the newsletters and sites to which I subscribe and am sure that what I am clicking on is legit. Well, legitimate enough for me to have signed up in the first place.

If I receive a newsletter from a source I did not signup for, I simply sentence it to live forever in my spam folder and ignore it.

Experience shows that most people don’t keep track of what they’ve subscribed to and if they don’t remembered signing up for a legitimate newsletter ,or simply don’t want to receive it any more, they don’t bother emailing to be unsubscribed or clicking the unsubscribe link. They simply hit the “mark as spam” button and forget about it.

This behavior makes me wonder 3 things:

  1. What percentage of spam is actually legitimate email that people have forgotten they’ve subscribed to?
  2. How badly this “false positive” spam pollutes the spam filters used by ISP’s and email providers?
  3. Whether there is another way to handle to issue of ensuring that real email and newsletters are not marked as spam?

Finally I wondering what you do when you no longer wish to receive a newsletter you’ve subscribed to?  I’ve added a poll to the comments section so that you can have your say.

Those of you reading this in an aggregator or in the newsletter, will have to click through to have your say.

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