(I don't know whether to submit this to SuperUser or StackOverflow.)

My friend and I have a subscriber list -- strictly opt-in, for people interested when we release new projects -- and we may want to send out a first email this year. How would one best send an email to over 10,000 people? Perhaps there is a good, I suppose paid service, which would do this for one? The key being that the emails ought arrive, with good chances of not being immediately labeled as spam due to the sender or something (as it's definitely not spam). When I simply send emails from my 1&1 server, they often immediately make it into the spam folder, even though when sending the same email through say Google Appspot, it arrives fine.

FWIW, the email addresses are not yet verified (people simply signed up for the list by providing an email, and optionally a name). Analyzing what bounced may be a pro. BTW, we will provide an opt-out link with every mail.

Thanks for any pointers, and sorry if this doesn't fit to ServerFault 100%!

  • If it isn't formatted like spam, doesn't obfuscate headers like spam, and doesn't come from a spam address, it won't be marked as spam in most probability. If it is one of those things where people swear it isn't spam but gets wrongly blocked en masse, there's probably something phishy about going on. But when dealing with large lists of "announcement" mails you're still going to have hits as spam. People often sign up for things then don't want it anymore and rather than following protocol just mark it or report as spam to make it stop. – Bart Silverstrim Jan 5 '10 at 14:22
  • Also, the signup process means it's almost certain that a good many people on the list didn't sign up themselves, but were signed up by others (with varying intentions). It will be spam to at least a few people. – David Thornley Jan 5 '10 at 14:46
  • An opt-out-based email list is always going to get you listed as a spammer because at least one of your users didn't ask to be mailed, but merely had a 'friend' add them to the list. Recommend you discard your subscriber list and start over with an opt-in based list. – Alex Holst Jan 5 '10 at 14:50
  • In Germany it should be a double opt-in mechanism, just to be sure and for not being sued right after the mailing. ;) – joschi Jan 5 '10 at 16:03
  • Protected to stop the "I haz spamware, use us" answers. – Rob Moir Oct 21 '12 at 9:51

Please note that I am not supporting any of these groups but these are simply companies I have heard people using in the past.




  • Thanks. I contacted MailChimp (their site looks good, of course that by itself doesn't mean much!) and will see how it goes. – Philipp Lenssen Jan 7 '10 at 11:29
  • Glad to hear it. Now that I have some more time I thought I would post some more info. We ended up speaking to all of the groups above at one time or another - we currently use Eloqua ATM. Mailchimp - Never used it but it seems pretty straight forward. They are very much into DIY stuff. Eloqua - Pretty good feature-set but UBER expensive. Exacttarget - Never used them (yet) but looks to be the best value. The only thing I don't like is that they don't seem to let you "test" it yourself which I think is BS. – malonso Jan 7 '10 at 12:49

From practice (and miserable failure), if you want to use your own mail server hosted at your own site, make sure you've configured the email server to resolve responses directly to you or you'll get flagged by your ISP. However, this is a catch-22 as you'll be more likely to get flagged as spam by certain filters. But at least you'll be able to send email in the future and not be restricted by some arbitrary rule your ISP may have on mail quotas.


You can either use a service dedicated to helping you send e-mail campaigns, or start setting up SPF records, Domain Keys and start contacting some of the e-mail providers to be placed on a whitelist if possible.

You will also want to make sure the addresses that don't exist are removed from your list after the first time they get sent out.

Also, check the IP address of your server against black lists to make sure you didn't by any chance inherit an IP address of a spammer which may drastically reduce your chances of successfully hitting the Inbox.

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