Can I send bulk email?

We should first make clear that we’re not a general bulk email company, and there are many kinds of bulk email that we don’t allow.

We do make an exception in one situation: You’re welcome to operate mailing lists for people who want to receive mail from you if you follow some strict requirements.

In fact, our service includes support for high-volume mailing lists at no extra charge using “Mailman”, and we encourage our customers to use that feature. The default Mailman settings automatically make sure your list complies with the requirements.

However, if you operate your own mailing list, you must pay close attention to the requirements to protect yourself. We don’t allow bulk messages that don’t follow all the requirements. In particular, every address must be verified (sometimes called “confirmed opt-in” or “double opt-in”).

What if my list doesn’t meet your strict requirements?

You should send your mail through a bulk mail service instead.

One popular option is the TinyLetter service, which is free for up to 5,000 recipients; other services include MailChimp and Constant Contact.

Why do you have strict requirements?

Our mailing list rules are no stricter than other ISPs that deal with general email. However, it’s true that our rules are much stricter than some companies that provide only bulk mail delivery services.

Although we allow mailing lists, our customers mostly use our email systems for normal person-to-person business or personal messages. We need to make sure that 100% of that mail is delivered without being tagged by other ISPs as potential “spam”.

In contrast, companies that only send bulk email have much lower standards. For example, the world’s largest “reputable” bulk mail company trumpets a 97% success rate: If they send mail to 1,000 people and “only” 30 messages are blocked, they consider that a success. And if your goal is to run a marketing campaign, you’d probably agree. After all, it’s just bulk mail, not your important business or personal mail.

We can’t do business that way. Our servers send all kinds of mail, and our customers expect every single message to reach its destination. That’s possible only when our customers who send bulk email use carefully maintained mailing lists that generate zero complaints (other than complaints that you can prove are false using detailed records).

This means our service isn’t appropriate for things like email marketing campaigns where you can’t prove that each recipient explicitly asked you to send them mail. That kind of list will generate complaints. You should use a dedicated bulk mail company instead, and accept the fact that some of the recipients simply won’t get the mail.

On the other hand, if you want to run a mailing list for people who enthusiastically want to subscribe (and you’re willing to spend the effort to be able to prove that), and if you want to make sure your messages are delivered much more reliably than an “e-mail blast” company could provide, we’re the company for you. Many of our customers run these kinds of lists (some with many thousands of subscribers) and love the fact that we’re much more reliable than “bulk mail” companies.