OT: Mail list cleaning

Paul Welsh paul.welsh.3 at googlemail.com
Sat Mar 14 15:10:21 GMT 2009

Thanks for the responses, everyone.

To give some background, the company I work for has about 50,000
customer email addresses collected over years but not used yet.  The
idea is to start using them.  The customers were told we'd be sending
marketing material by email but it was on the basis of "we will email
you unless you write to us" basis - this was part of their finance
agreement with us.

The Marketing dept said wanted to "clean" the list before emailing all
the customers to tell them about our soon-to-be-launched new web site,
hence the idea of checking the addresses.

My initial response was to send the message and clean the list on the
basis of the bounce backs and unsubscribe requests.

I did find a few $30 type apps on the web such as email verifier here
- www.maxprog.com.  You can import a file of addresses and the app
then does an MX lookup and then an SMTP helo, mail from and rcpt to on
each address.  The results can be exported to a tab delimited file.

All well and good I thought, but then I saw the excludes list and
noted that nearly all the popular providers like Yahoo, BTOpenWorld,
AOL, etc, were excluded.  It dawned on me that these providers don't
do any address checking prior to accepting a message for delivery -
presumably to circumvent spammers using dictionary attacks to figure
out which addresses are valid.

It strikes me that we need a "proper" mailing list application to
process the bounce backs and unsubscribes.  Any suggestions?  Is
unsubscribing via a web link the way to go these days?

More information about the MailScanner mailing list