Can I send bulk email?

We should first make clear that we’re not a general bulk email company, and we don’t allow most kinds of bulk mail at all.

We do make an exception in one situation: You’re welcome to operate mailing lists for people who are willing to prove that they want to receive mail from you by following some strict requirements.

In fact, our service includes support mailing lists at no extra charge using Mailman, and we encourage our customers to use that feature. Mailman automatically makes sure your list complies with the requirements if you use its “invite” feature to verify addresses.

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 separate 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 many companies that provide only bulk mail delivery services.

That’s because 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 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 a small number of the recipients simply won’t get the mail.