I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Let's discuss features of the UN Job List and site update in this forum here.
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What should I do?

Write a big blog post that everyone knows how to sign-out properly
1
20%
Allow one(1) e-mail alert only
1
20%
Make the UN Job List alert re-confirmation period shorter (6 Months)
0
No votes
Setup a separate (paid) e-mail alert (see my post)
3
60%
Do something else (please describe in the below)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 5

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Sebastian
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I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Post by Sebastian » 27 Oct 2018, 18:33

Hi all,

I need your help. I do have a problem: every week on Saturday I send close to 20.000 email alerts via the UN Job List. As you can imagine that's a lot of emails and to get them all out safely is a tough job.

Background: What is the problem?
Over the past years I had several issues with these alerts: for one, I got a lot of recipients that don't sign-out of their alerts ever. This means that my server resources are wasted. What it also means is, that if people e.g. leave their job in the UN, their email is no longer valid and I have to fight with bouncing emails (i.e. emails that return as undeliverable). That's a problem for me, since this makes me look like a spammer. And I don't want to look like a spammer at all.

What's worse is, that some people - instead of signing out of my alert via the link that is in every email - rather seem to click on their "This is email is Spam" button in their email system. This is an even bigger problem for me (and everyone who WANTS to get my email - since Gmail and others look at the mail and think it is Spam). Also, this method does not let me know you don't actually want the email any longer and so I send the message but since it is marked as spam, it will never reach the inbox and is a waste of resources.

What I have done so far to solve the issue:
In order to address the issue in the past I have required emails to be re-confirmed: I know it is annoying to re-validate the email alert every year but it helps me make sure that people really like and want my email alerts. Finding the right trade-off between annoying people with too frequent re-confirmations on the one hand yet having a short enough period to make this method effective is tricky. I have also encouraged people to sign-out of their alerts if they don't need them any longer.

The problem is: so far this has not really worked. I got more reports lately that my alerts are classified as spam emails.

What can I do in future?
Honestly, I'm a bit lost in terms of what can be done. I created a poll (see above) and I'm looking for help! Can you tell me what could be done? Can you tell me if you have an idea on how to tackle the issue?

Here is my thinking behind the different options:
  • Write a big blog post that everyone knows how to sign-out properly
I have the least hopes that this would work. The people that cause the issue are unlikely to read any blog post / forum post.
  • Allow one(1) e-mail alert only
The idea here is, to limit the damage. If everybody is only allowed one email alert, any wrong reporting by one individual can't do too much harm. I don't really like this idea.
  • Make the UN Job List alert re-confirmation period shorter (6 Months)
As outlined above, this aims at making sure that only people who really want the alert are getting the alert. The downside is that people might miss the reconfirmation step. I have had people in the past complain to me why I stopped sending my alerts...
  • Setup a separate (paid) e-mail alert (see my post)
The idea behind this option is to setup a separate email alert for those who really want the alert. If you have to pay e.g. 5 USD a year to get the alert, you are unlikely to just click "spam" but more likely to stop the subscription in order to stop the payments. Once somebody cancels a subscription it is very easy to stop sending the alert. The downside is, that this would add a paid element to this site which I wanted to avoid. It is also unfair to my users: I have no problems charging a senior D2 even 200 USD / year for my service, but I wouldn't want to charge anybody from a developing country in pursuit of their dreams.
  • Do something else (please describe in the below)
That's obvious - please let me know.
Sorry for the wall of text. But I really need your help here. Please let me know what you think would work best. And if you have further ideas, please share them! Thanks so much!

Sebastian

tl;dr: People clicking on the SPAM button in their email instead of signing out of the email alert are a problem. I want ideas on how to tackle the problem. Thanks!
I'm Sebastian from the UN Job List. I know about the UN Job List and also a little about the UN in general.

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Re: I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Post by Anja » 27 Oct 2018, 19:57

Hello Sabastian,

Thanks for all your work. All options are not good. But if that’s 5 bucks per year to solve this, I’m game. (Try to avoid it though!)

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Re: I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Post by Sebastian » 28 Oct 2018, 05:35

Anja wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 19:57
Hello Sabastian,

Thanks for all your work. All options are not good. But if that’s 5 bucks per year to solve this, I’m game. (Try to avoid it though!)
Alright, I appreciate you feedback - let's see what others have to contribute.
I'm Sebastian from the UN Job List. I know about the UN Job List and also a little about the UN in general.

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Re: I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Post by Anja » 03 Nov 2018, 06:41

Am I the only one replying here? We all use the service- what cane be done to support?

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Re: I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Post by Sebastian » 03 Nov 2018, 16:38

Anja wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 06:41
Am I the only one replying here? We all use the service- what cane be done to support?
Anja, I appreciate your concern. No worries - I will not take drastic action without discussing it in the forum first. And I realise this is a difficult problem that many people might not be able to engage with perfectly easily: I will fully admit it, none of the possible solutions that I outlined above are particularly compelling / sustainable solutions to the challenge outlined.

Everybody else: please feel free to chime in and let me know your thoughts! Thanks!
I'm Sebastian from the UN Job List. I know about the UN Job List and also a little about the UN in general.

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Re: I have a problem - please help (about E-Mail alerts)

Post by Pete » 04 Nov 2018, 16:10

Sabastian, write that article but I will make sure to unsubcribe properly. I don't mind paying a dollar or two for your service, but I don't like the hazzle of signing up. I mean how do you bill for that?

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