1. According to the collaboration consultants at Ferris Research, your first move when new people sign up to receive a newsletter or e-mail from your site should be to send them a message confirming that they want to be signed up. This ensures that someone else didn't enroll them. Similarly, always give them a quick way to unsubscribe.

2. Get yourself on the list. Almost all Internet service providers have white lists, or places where you can submit your company name for certification so you won't be automatically labeled spam. You can also ask subscribers to add your domain name to the white lists set up on their mail servers and through security companies.

3. Get off the bad lists. Ferris suggests checking public blacklists of known sources of spam, such as those at OpenRBL and Spamhaus to make sure you're not on them.

4. Remind your subscribers to check their quarantine or junk mail folders to make sure your stuff hasn't been dumped there.

5. Deal with complaints promptly and politely. Perhaps the best way to distinguish yourself from spammers is not to act like one.

Published on: Oct 1, 2005