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Anti-Spam Law & Spam Filter Information

The following email was sent to our clients on 1/1/04, but many did not receive it as it was blocked by their spam filters (this was true of all AOL clients, plus others). This is important information every client needs to read. It is VERY important that you do not include instructions on how to unsubscribe in your newsletters. That information is being added automatically to both plain and fancy email newsletters. In additon, you need to seriously consider how you want to do future newsletters.

Hi Everyone,

Many of you are writing to us about customers that are not receiving their newsletters. We are now in the age of spam filters, and thousands upon thousands (or even millions) of emails are not being delivered these days due to their filtering. Every ISP uses different spam filters, and each of those have different settings on what WORDS in an email will trigger the filter. Obviously, it is a situation over which we have no control.

The only solution is to have your newsletter as a "builder" page, and then send out simple emails with a link to the page. In most cases, the word "sale" in itself is enough to send the email to the "bit bucket". BTW, these emails that are blocked are not even returned to us, in case you were wondering. Unfortunately, newsletters containing only a link to a web page will not bring nearly the response rate of your email newsletters, and you wouldn't even be able to use the word "sale" (or similar)in the subject. So it is a no win situation all the way around.

In addition, the new national anti-spam law goes into effect tomorrow. We've made several changes in order to be in compliance with the new law. There's a good article that explains the law at http://www.ivanhoffman.com/federalspam.html

The three most important changes are:

1) The customer must now "opt-in" rather than "opt-out" at the bottom of your order forms in order to be added to your mailing list (or sign up via your registration page, where they are "opting-in" by default). In other words, they have to specifically request to receive your newsletter.

2) All outgoing emails must contain the true name, physical address, city, state, and zip of the sender according to the new federal law. The email will use the same address as your invoices (example at the end of this email). IF you are currently using a home address for your business, we strongly recommend that you get a Post Office box. These are very reasonably priced, and solve the problem of your home address going out over the Internet. You can edit your physical address by clicking on "Mailing List" in your maintenance section.

3) Customers can now automatically unsubscribe by clicking on a link at the bottom of the email. A confirmation email will be sent to both the customer and the store. We here at Key to the Web wish each of you a happy and prosperous New Year!

Bob, Jan, and Patty

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