Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Joel Spolsky's email subscriptions

Joel Spolsky's email subscription messages are among the best I've ever seen.

Joel Spolsky is an early blogger, one of the first to use a blog to communicate. He's a software developer who has a suite of new products being tested and promoted right now, including some project management technology that looks interesting.

I wonder why others don't put a little thought into the text that explains email subscriptions to a blog's updates. Certain wording is required by law for email marketing campaigns, to avoid spam or no longer wanted email.

Confirmed opt-in is where the user has to respond to an email message to verify that he or she really did wish to subscribe. This prevents someone from entering the email address of another person, as a friendly joke or a malicious prank. If people get unwanted subscriptions to a blog's updates, that will generate ill will toward the blog.

I use Bloglet to enable users to subscribe to my blog updates. I'm not sure if I have any control over or input into the wording that greets users when they subscribe to my blog's update notifications. I'll look into it.

But look at this excellant, user-friendly communication, which appeared in my browser window after I entered my email address in the email subscription sign-up text entry box.


To confirm your email address, we're now emailing you a message with a link. You must click on that link to activate your subscription. (This prevents other people from signing you up without your permission).

If you do not get the email immediately, you probably have a spam filter which deleted it.

If You Don't Get The Confirmation Email, You Are Not Signed Up.

If you have a spam filter, please make sure it allows email from and , which is where Joel on Software email comes from.

These days many ISPs are aggressively deleting things that they think are spam without checking too closely. If they do this, you are probably losing some legitimate email without noticing.

Please contact your ISP or mail administrator and ask them to use a system that moves spam into a separate folder rather than deleting it permanently.


Also, when I looked at the email confirmation message that was immediately sent to me, I discovered this text:

"All Joel on Software emails have
[JoelOnSoftware] in the subject line."

I've never seen this done before, and I heartily endorse this good practice.

But, of course, we're talking the great Joel Spolsky, an original old school blog pioneer and software innovator.


Go to his blog now, and subscribe to his updates.

And check out his crew's new offerings.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


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