The psychic and the not-really-opt-in


I’ve been getting a continual stream of spam from a psychic. I blogged about it a few months ago, and even had a call with the psychic’s ESP. None of that seemed to matter. Every few days I’d get another ad for psychic candles, or recording services or whatever. It wasn’t mail I could easily filter, and every time I’d get it I’d growl and dump it in my junk folder.
Yesterday, I received another mail from her. The subject line is “list opt-in verification.” Really? Could she really be actually confirming her list? Actually asking if I want to continue receiving mail?

I’m sending this to you because everyone gets so many impersonal emails and I want to be sure you do want to receive the Tori Hartman Newsletter monthly. If you would like to continue to receive news from me, simply click the VERIFY link below.
Unsubscribe below will remove you permanently.
Thank you for your time and attention.
With Love,
You are receiving this email because you are currently subscribed to the distribution list ‘TH Marketing List 4.5.10’.

So far, so good. It seems she’s attempting to weed out folks from her list. But if you read below the fold, you find a paragraph that contradicts the entire mail.
The bottom paragraph says:

As part of our regular list maintenance procedures, we are requesting verification that you still want to receive our emails. Verification is optional. You will still continue to receive emails from this list if you choose not to verify your subscription unless you unsubscribe below.

Um. What? Why bother with a verification run? I don’t get it when companies do this. If you are going to keep mailing me no matter what I do, then why are you bothering me? This is the height of irrelevancy.
I know other companies have done this, but I don’t understand the point. If you aren’t going to pay attention to the non-response why are you asking the question?
Not only that, this mail doesn’t comply with CAN SPAM.

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  • “If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please cross my palm with click-throughs below”

  • I would guess verification lets them segment you as an “active subscriber” or something similar so that you can be targetted with even more spam 🙂

  • It’s not like not answering did anything. She sent me an ad for “The Color Wisdom Cards” tonight.
    And, yes, I’ve tried unsubscribing. It didn’t work.

  • Hi Laura;
    please email me personally at the email I’ve supplied below and I will make sure you are removed from my list. The top portion of the email you are showing here is what I wrote to those on my list who may not wish to be. (Thanks for your comments on that portion).
    The bottom portion is what the company automatically puts on the email — unbeknownst to me.
    Please feel free to email me personally with any emails that you would wish removed, and I will do so immediately. I do not understand why you’re not removed if you unsubscribed — my personal email is revealed in your form below. Also, my phone number is on my website.
    To be sure, I never heard from you or I would have immediately taken care of this.
    I am a real person and I do answer the phone.
    Kind Regards,
    Tori Hartman

  • Tori, will you be suing the company that put the non-working bottom portion on your email, thereby causing you to unknowingly violate federal law?
    I think you might find a lot of potential expert witnesses amongst the readership of this blog.

  • If her psychic abilities (psychosis?) were any good at all, Tori would know before she sent her spam which people on her list will want to be removed. Astral-scrubbing, as it were.

By laura

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