Since last year’s election FactCheck.org has been working on plans to add new features to the Web site, and a new design. We hope to launch the “new” FactCheck.org Web site sometime in July. Meanwhile, as the first step, we are upgrading our subscription email service effective immediately. Nearly all our 75,000 subscribers should now receive better service.
Starting immediately, management of the FactCheck.org subscriber list is being handled by Constant Contact, a specialized firm that handles membership lists and email campaigns for more than 1,500 other nonprofit organizations. We believe this will result in better service for nearly all subscribers. One exception is those who have signed up to receive articles emailed to generic or multi-user addresses such as “webmaster” or “postmaster,” to which we will no longer be able to send.
What Won’t Change
What Will Change
Our messages will look better. We will be sending them as fully formatted HTML messages that look very similar to the articles as they are posted on our Web site, including any tables and graphics.
Our messages will contain more information. We will now be sending the full text of new articles, rather than just a summary. Users who wish to view any video or any supporting documents will still need to visit the Web site, however.
Our messages should arrive more quickly. All subscribers should now receive messages within minutes of our sending them. (This first article is an exception. It will take up to 48 hours to reach some subscribers. The reason is that Constant Contact needs to send to a few thousand subscribers at a time in order to monitor how many addresses on our list are being blocked by spam filters.)
Our messages should arrive more reliably. In the past many of you have complained that you did not receive the articles you requested. Often this was due to our messages being mistaken for unsolicited email by the spam filters of Internet service providers. By sending our messages through Constant Contact, our email should now appear on the “white lists” of all major Internet service providers, bypassing spam filters which have sometimes mistaken our messages for unsolicited advertising.
Easier change of address. We now provide a link that allows subscribers to notify us more easily when they are changing an email address. In the past subscribers had to “unsubscribe” at one address and sign up anew from the new address.
Prohibited Addresses. We will no longer be able to email to certain types of addresses which Constant Contact has found are prone to generating spam complaints. These are generally addresses that serve multiple individuals, not all of whom may wish to receive the emails. For that reason, addresses will be removed from our list if they fall into either of the following categories:
- Distribution Lists or Non-specific addresses. Examples: Info@(DomainName.com), Media@(DomainName.com), Abuse@(DomainName.com), Jobs@(DomainName.com), and Admin@DomainName.com
- Role accounts. Generic address created for particular jobs or positions can also go to multiple individuals. Examples: Sales@(DomainName.com), Webmaster@(DomainName.com), Postmaster@(DomainName.com), Hostmaster@(DomainName.com), and Marketing@(DomainName.com)
Lost Addresses. Our email list is also being scrubbed to remove names that are generating “bounceback” messages saying that they cannot be delivered because the address is no longer valid, or for some other reason. It is possible that we may have lost some valid addresses through this process, or in the process of transferring our list from our server to Constant Contact, though we hope this is not the case. We want to keep all subscribers who wish to receive our emails, so if you did not receive a copy of this article in your email, or if our articles stop arriving in the future, please take a moment to sign up again.
Blocked images and links: Several of the latest email programs automatically block images and disable hyperlinks in incoming email. Users who wish to see and use our fully formatted messages as they are intended may do so, either by allowing images for each of our emails or by designating us a sender you trust. Here is how to view our emails using some of the most widely used email programs:
- AOL 9.0 Optimized: Click on the ‘Enable Links and Images’ link that AOL provides with each incoming email, or add Subscriberservices@FactCheck.org to your AOL “People I Know” address book to allow images to be seen in all future emails from us.
- Outlook 2003 users: Click on the “download pictures” link with each email, or approve Subsciberservices@FactCheck.org as a “safe sender” to allow images to be seen in all future emails from us.
- Mozilla Thunderbird: Click on the “show images” link with each email, or add Subscriberservices@FactCheck.org to your “personal address book” to allow images to be seen in all future emails from us.