Unwitting Newsletter Douchebaggery And How to Avoid It

A roadside mailbox with a green roof, with With all the business cards and email addresses exchanged at RWA and at other summer conferences, I thought an examination of the rules and best practices governing newsletter distribution might be a good idea.

Really, this is inspired by my own annoyance. I've noticed an increase in the number of email newsletters I'm receiving that I absolutely did not sign up for. This is making me insane and very angry, and I want to explain why this is a BAD IDEA and what to do if it happens to you.

First Rule of Newsletter:  unless someone has specifically given permission or has opted-in to receive a newsletter, do not subscribe them. Ever.

This is high-level douchery. I call it Being an Unwitting Newsletter Douche.

Why unwitting? Because likely the person doing the spamming isn't trying to be offensive, and doesn't know what they're doing is wrong.

Yet on the receiving end, it can be infuriating to receive a pile of newsletters you didn't ask for. I don't know about you, but I receive a LOT of email, and am trying to cut back on what I receive.  So when I get more newsletters that I don't want, not only is it intrusive, but it negatively impacts my goal of a more manageable inbox.

Oddly enough, I remember the names of people who are annoying me with excess email better than I remember a lot of things, and I'm not the only one who has that kind of selective memory. An unwelcome newsletter is bad PR every way you look at it.

It's not just authors who are Unwitting Newsletter Douches. It happens in every industry, I think. At a 2011 romance conference, there was a guest speaker who collected business cards at events and added all of those people to her mailing list. It was awful – and when folks complained to the conference staff about it, the conference organizers were Not Happy. Unfortunately, this is a conference problem I've heard before: exchanging business card with someone then ending up on their mailing list.

Unless someone has specifically been asked, it's unacceptable business practice to add them to a list. 




Why is it bad to add someone to a mailing list?

Because that person didn't give explicit permission.

Now, there is some misinformation as to whether adding someone without permission is legal.

The CAN SPAM act does NOT outlaw adding people to a mailing list without permission, per the Wikipedia explanation:


There are no restrictions against a company emailing its existing customers or anyone who has inquired about its products or services, even if these individuals have not given permission, as these messages are classified as “relationship” messages under CAN-SPAM.

According to this Europe/US comparison chart, the “the CAN-SPAM Act allows direct marketing email messages to be sent to anyone, without permission, until the recipient explicitly requests that they cease (“opt-out”).”

So technically, it is legal to add people without their permission to your mailing list.

But it is far far away from best practice.



But if I didn't give permission, isn't that still considered spam?

Yup. You can opt-out. Every email newsletter must include opt-out instructions, usually at the bottom or in a sidebar.

But there's more information you can use to your advantage if you've received a newsletter you didn't ask for.

Constant Contact, one of the major email newsletter providers, has a whitepaper online explaining best practices for adding people to a subscriber list. It says:

The increased focus on spam in email marketing also means an
increased focus on permission. Sure, we’re all waiting and hoping
for a solution to the spam problem but a foolproof solution has not yet
been created.


So, in the meantime, as permission-based email marketers,
we need to stay diligent in our efforts to earn and keep the permission of
our subscribers to the best of our ability.
(emphasis mine)


In other words, Constant Contact and other permission-based email marketers take the quality of their newsletter services very seriously. And that's good news if you've received an email newsletter you didn't ask for, because your course of action can be more powerful than clicking 'Unsubscribe.'

Constant Contact also has a considerable amount of information on what they consider spam in their anti-spam policy:

Constant Contact has a no tolerance spam policy.

Constant Contact's customer support actively monitors large import lists and emails going to a large number of contacts. Any customer found to be using Constant Contact for spam will be immediately cut-off from use of the product. If you know of or suspect any violators, please notify us immediately at abuse@constantcontact.com.

This means that, to many newsletter service providers, the legal definition of spam doesn't hold as much weight as the consumer reporting an email as spam. Constant Contact isn't the only one who pays close attention to spam from their clients. There's a lot to be learned from various newsletter services about what is and is not spam in their estimation.

Campaign Monitor also has an Anti-Spam Policy that's very specific, much more specific than the CANSPAM law:

At Campaign Monitor, we take permission very seriously. By creating an account and agreeing to our Terms of Use, you are also agreeing to this anti-spam policy.

The law isn’t enough. It’s permission that counts.

While the CAN-SPAM laws are a step in the right direction for reducing the spam problem, we don’t feel they go far enough. Our definition of spam goes beyond the laws in most countries and encompasses what we believe to be true permission email marketing.

Spam is any email you send to someone who hasn’t given you their direct permission to contact them on the topic of the email….

Basically, you can only ever email anyone who has clearly given you permission to email them specifically about the subject you’re contacting them about.


MailChimp's anti-spam terms are in section 11 of their Terms page and reference the Spamhaus definitions — if you'd care to read more specific information about what they define as spam or “unsolicited bulk email.”

MailChimp's terms say:

The first line of the Spamhaus definition reads:

The word “Spam” as applied to Email means Unsolicited Bulk Email (“UBE”).
It is a concern to us if you use MailChimp to send any unsolicited email to anyone with whom you have no relationship. It is much more of a concern, and more likely to cause our system to be blocked by various ISP's, for you to send an unsolicited email to an entire list of people you don't know.

Bottom line: email newsletter companies take spam very seriously.

That's good for you, the recipient, because there are a few different responses you can employ for unwelcome newsletters sent by Unwitting Newsletter Douches.


So what do I do if I start receiving email from an author and I'm pretty damn sure that I didn't sign up?


There are three steps you can take.

Step one: Cut a hole in a box.


Step one: Unsubscribe. Obviously.

Step two: Report the newsletter to the mailing service's abuse department. That second part is VERY important!


If you report an unwelcome newsletter to the abuse department and say you didn't subscribe, that alerts the service that their client is creating a potential problem for them.


Why do email newsletter companies take the abuse reports seriously?

Because it could compromise their ability to send out all those email messages. Companies like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, ReturnPath, and CampaignMonitor have email superpowers that enable them to send out umpty-zillion newsletters per day.

If their clients are using their services for sending mountains of spam, it hurts the company and their email superpowers. If ISPs block those newsletter services because of the poor conduct of one customer, those companies can't do their thing and use their superpowers. So they have to monitor the people using their services.


So if I report an unwelcome newsletter to the abuse department, they take it VERY seriously?

Oh, HELL yeah.

Email newsletter distribution companies have a spam threshold for each account. If enough newsletters are reported as spam or abuse of the terms of service, they will respond, often by suspending the account until they speak with the account owner about appropriate collection of email addresses.

Dude. What are the abuse email addresses for these companies?

They are very easy to find: you can look at the bottom of the newsletter for the name of the service provider who sent the message, and Google that company name plus “abuse.”

But since last month, when I received 6 (SIX. SERIOUSLY. SIX. Two from writers who don't write romance, and three from people I've never met or corresponded with!) unwelcome newsletters in one week's time, I've gathered up a few of them for you:

Constant Contact: ABUSE@constantcontact.com

MailChimp has a form online that collects specific information so they can isolate which campaign you are reporting.
Aside: here's a blog entry featuring good and nasty email messages sent to the MailChimp abuse team.

CampaignMonitor: abuse@createsend.com

Hey! You said there were three steps! What's the third step?

Step three: Write back! Respond to the person who sent the newsletter and tell them calmly and clearly why you are unsubscribing. I like this response by Chris Brogan very much:



You evidently mistook access for acceptance. I seem to be subscribed to your email newsletter, and I’m not interested. Now, I realize there’s a click-to-unsubscribe option, but I wanted a moment of your time, seeing as you ate up some of mine by making me go through the process of unsubscribing myself from your mailing list.


I can tell you’re eager to grow your business. It’s clear that you want incredibly smart and engaging people like me to participate in your world. Here’s a hint: blindly adding me to your email list won’t really win you many fans in that regard….


You can certainly write your own standard response and cut and paste it as needed. Being told, “You are being a Unwitting Newsletter Douche and need to stop now” may help decrease the number of additions without permission.

One hopes, anyway. There are consequences for the email marketing services, but there are also consequences for the person who sent the newsletter. It creates a negative impression, it's intrusive, clumsy, and bothersome, and it certainly doesn't help with sales or word of mouth.

Imagine someone saying, “Oh! That author spammed me, so I'm totally going to buy her book.” 

Not likely to happen.

Writing back lets the person who sent the newsletter know what the consequences are for having spammed you. You don't have to make dire predictions (I'm never buying your books agaiiiiin! *gasp*) or go off the rails with anger and vitriol, but, as Chris Brogan wrote above, explaining why you're unsubscribing and how ineffective that marketing technique has been for you as a reader may cause that person to think again about their subscription management.

Now, sometimes any interaction, such as entering a contest or filling out a form, automatically subscribes that person to one's list. This is not a good idea, for a number of reasons.

Julie Murphy, Communications Manager at Constant Contact, told me (over email – heh heh) that, 

“Many companies pre-check the subscription box… even though it is a best practice for the subscription box to an optional, unchecked box. (emphasis mine)

“As the amount of junk email has exploded, customers expect that reputable companies will ask for permission, not presume it. Customers should be aware of these pre-checked boxes, and uncheck if they do not wish to receive email from a company.”

Sometimes people add themselves and forget that they did. They might get upset. If authors and anyone using email marketing have everyone opting-in, then there's a specific source to point to should they complain, e.g. “Susan Von Hissyfit signed up for my newsletter on 2 June 2012 at 10:03am via my opt-in form.”

Having that information is important should someone complain about your adding them without permission – when they really added themselves. 

One last very important point, originally said by a really smart person from Dover Samplers at Digital Book World (whose name I cannot find and I am so sorry):


I understand that a healthy mailing list is a great thing for an author to have. These are people who have specifically asked for information from an author, whether it's good news, new releases, or discounts and sales on backlist. It's a very big deal to have someone say, “YES. YOU'RE AWESOME! PLEASE EMAIL ME ALL YOUR AWESOMENESS!” 

It's a privilege. Don't abuse it.

Have you been added to an author's or a company's email list without permission? Did it have an effect on how you viewed that author or company, or were you not really bothered?




Thank you to BigStock for the image.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Lynne Connolly says:

    oh so true. But even worse, I’ve found recently, are the techies. OMG. I bought a new laptop recently, and the shower of “buy this laptop, memory stick etc” in my inbox is appalling. Plus, all the people trying to flog Macafee and Norton (spit).

  2. 2

    Common sense but it seems that there are a lot of people don’t *get it*.

  3. 3
    Angela James says:

    Great post, Sarah. I get so much email, it really frustrates me to get email I didn’t ask for, especially from the people (authors) who’d probably like their non-promotional emails to get my attention! And it frustrates me to get unsolicited email from places that should know better. 2 years ago at RT convention, a marketing company asked for my business card after a panel. Since then, I’ve never received one personal email from them, but I’ve been subscribed to their company email on at least three separate occasions. Three times! From a marketing company. I’ve emailed them directly to complain, emailed their newsletter services and opted-out/unsubscribed every time. This is a “marketing service”. I shudder to think what they’re teaching the authors who hire them.

    One thing you leave out is that it’s still spam, even if you’re not going through an official newsletter company. I get a lot of promotional emails from authors who’ve simply sent their promo email to their entire contact list. This is not only as intrusive as a newsletter from a service, but often doubly as annoying because there is no unsubscribe or opt-out option.

  4. 4
    Ren says:

    A lot of authors spam directly from their own email account and don’t provide opt-out in the email, AND when they carpetbomb their contact list, everybody they cc’d (many of which are their same-boat writer buddies) now has your email address, which they do not hesitate to add to their own contact lists and flood your inbox with MORE crap.

    Also, every time I’ve had to email one of these people with a “take me off your list I didn’t sign up for,” they’ve had a tantrum about my lack of appreciation for the honor they’ve so generously bestowed upon me, so I have my doubts it’s unwitting douchbaggery. Seems like just one symptom of a congenital disorder.

    And yes, there is a special fiery pit in my heart for every one of these darling petals.

    Last time I used a newsletter service, the account holder didn’t even have the option of adding contacts. Double opt-in was required (plug your name and address into the form, get an email to which you must then respond in order to sign up), so there was never any question who volunteered to be a recipient. You would have to have some huge, hairy balls to sign people up, knowing they’d get that confirmation email.

    Which is probably why there are so many non-service newsletters. All those rules and regulations about not being an asshole just KILL a marketing campaign.

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    Angela James wrote: “One thing you leave out is that it’s still spam, even if you’re not going through an official newsletter company. I get a lot of promotional emails from authors who’ve simply sent their promo email to their entire contact list. This is not only as intrusive as a newsletter from a service, but often doubly as annoying because there is no unsubscribe or opt-out option.”

    Yes – the lack of the unsubscribe or opt-out is the first violation of CANSPAM, and the fact that they’ve mistaken correspondence with you for permission to add you to their list is the second. The first is easier to demonstrate if you wish to report it.

    You can report SPAM email to the Federal Trade Commission (details here) but alas, I don’t hold out much hope for any real answer, as the FTC is likely overwhelmed by all the spam reports, given that we each receive so many pieces of spam.

    That’s why the newsletter company options are so much more powerful – they’ll suspend someone’s account if they think their service is being used incorrectly. Among the recourse options for folks who send promotional material to everyone in their inbox not using a service is to email them back, report to the FTC, and talk about it publicly.

  6. 6
    Eliza Evans says:

    As I mentioned on Twitter, my husband works for an email marketing company (none of the ones mentioned above) and a lot of what he does is jiggery-pokery to keep spammers from using their product.  And here’s the thing—if they figure out a customer is spamming someone, and it’s not just an honest mistake, they have no compunction in getting rid of them with extreme prejudice.  It’s more risk to their honest customers than it’s worth whatever these people are paying every month. 

  7. 7
    Jody Wallace says:

    I can’t even IMAGINE sending the same promo type email to everyone in my entire contact list or address book. I know/email way too many people who would beat my ass for that. Good Lord.

  8. 8

    I started writing a response to this here, but it (a) got way too long and (b) was directed more at authors than readers, so I didn’t think this was the right place for it.

    In any event, my experience with newsletters and all that other crap is here:


  9. 9
    SB Sarah says:

    That response is totally badass awesome, and thank you for the link to it.

  10. 10
    Jae_Lee says:

    Being signed up for email newsletters without permission sucks for sure. It sucks worse when you actively sign up for email and companies take that as permission for physical mail too. I sign a lot of petitions online, and many ask for zip codes to confirm your identity/whatever, and I have found that I get tons more junk mail. I won’t do business with Credo Mobile because of that, despite agreeing with their political agenda.


  11. 11
    Miranda Neville says:

    I’ll admit I made the mistake as a newbie of adding people to my list without permission (probably not more than a couple of dozen.) I regret it now and would tell any new author that it’s a no-no. I know it’s a pain to unsubscribe, but I wish people would.  I don’t want anyone to get my newsletter who doesn’t want it – not to mention that I pay a small amount for each email.

  12. 12
    Sarah {CEFS} says:

    I teach professional education classes in communications at a college and I get a mostly artists, writers, small business types in my courses. In one of them, a term-long class in the basics of online communications, I spend about half a class on email newsletter etiquette (basically, all the stuff you mentioned in this post), and beat into their heads that it is never, ever okay to add someone to your mailing list without their permission, that it’s rude and makes you look like a jerk and it’s counter-productive because it turns a potential customer into someone who thinks you’re an idiot about the internet.

    However, invariably about a week after the class ends, at least three students have added me to their business newsletter list without my opting in. When I take them to task (because I’m a meanie-pants that way), they always say that their uncle/sister/neighbor/random internet forum person/hamster/fairy godmother told them that I’m wrong and you have to blast everyone you know constantly with your newsletter updates because this will magically lead to sales. *eye roll*

    Anyway, this is a very long-winded way of saying that this is an epidemic, and I think there is a lot of bad information floating around about what’s okay and what’s not, and I really appreciate your post and the one that Courtney wrote that she linked to in the comments.


  13. 13
    Flo_over says:

    I’m vicious as to what I let into my e-mail box.  I was tempted to report my mother-in-law as spam when she started sending me sparkling whirling forwards asking me to send it to 5 friends so I can get a wish from Jesus.  That made my day turn dark and evil.

    However, I’ve found Gmail has some nice settings you can use that really culls out the evils.  Granted you have to give them more information about yourself and you have to be proactive.  But I feel it’s worth it.  Especially with the option of de-listing you once you mark something spam.

  14. 14
    Karenna Colcroft says:

    I have been added to authors’ newsletters without permission, and I’m not happy about it. Particularly because I hadn’t heard of any of the four authors who’ve done it…

    With my own romance newsletter, the only time I add people to the mailing list is after a party on a specific romance review site. When readers enter the giveaways during those parties, they have the option of clicking “yes” or “no” to whether they’re willing to be added to authors’ newsletter lists. When I get the list of entrants, after I draw my winner I add the folks who clicked “yes” to my mailing list.

    Otherwise, with both the romance newsletter and my young adult alter ego’s newsletter, people sign up to receive it. I use MailChimp; they have a very convenient form that you can put on your website for people to use to sign up. I don’t want to be spammed, and I don’t want to spam readers and potential readers.

  15. 15
    Helen DeWitt says:

    Gawd. Yes. I mean – all kinds of people write to me, many of whom I don’t know from a bar of soap, and I normally try to be polite and reply, which means that Thunderbird helpfully adds their email addresses to Address Book. And I myself often write emails to people I don’t know from a bar of soap, asking for some specific piece of information (how to install ArabTeX, how to produce an array of binomial distributions in R, this kind of thing), and Thunderbird promptly adds these to to Address Book. I would want to bombard these people with a mass email why, exactly? And the alternative is to go through the Address Book creating a separate List, a prospect too hideous to contemplate.

  16. 16

    Omigosh yes! Author newsletters I didn’t subscribe to drive me crazy when they’re of the DIY variety and there is no opt-out. Like I’ve got so much time in my day to personally email someone back and request they remove me from the list I “somehow” managed to get myself on.

    To add insult to injury, I have sent very polite emails (with nary a single snarky comment!) requesting to be removed from email lists, and I’ve had less-than polite responses back. Like I’m the bad guy here. Really? One such person was so incensed she informed me she was deleting me as a LinkedIn contact… and when she did it saved me the problem of figuring out how to delete her as a contact, for which I’m eternally grateful 😉

    All I have to say to people who do this is: I’m even LESS likely than I normally might be to buy your book/product/service if you add me without my permission. That increases incrementally if you don’t have an opt-out, and I have to email you personally. And I absolutely will NOT buy your book/product/service if you then get POed with me for politely asking to be removed from your list… or ignore my request and keep doing it! (Plus I’ll bitch about you to all my friends *evil grin*


  17. 17
    JennyME says:

    One of my mom’s friends, who is an indie author, knew I was managing my mom’s website and sent me a condolence email there after my mom died. I wrote back from my regular email to thank her & a few days later received the woman’s newsletter.

    Needless to say I will not be buying the awesome new book she couldn’t wait to tell me about.

  18. 18
    Stelly says:

    This was really interesting to read.  My mom owns a vegan café and she’ll start giving classes in September.  We have a list that people can sign-up for so that they’ll be notified of the class schedule when it’s ready (which I manage).  I’ll be sure to keep in mind and follow all the rules you mentioned, especially the part where they have the option to unsubscribe.

  19. 19
    Laura Valentine says:

    I end up on a lot of those roll-your-own lists, usually because I did something like “purchased an item from an indie seller”.  HINT, people: I will not be a repeat customer if you do that nonsense.

  20. 20
    Laura Valentine says:

    One thing that is nice, if your email newsletter service does it, is to have a confirmation email—so someone signs up, and gets a message to their email address asking them to confirm, and if they do not, they are not subscribed.

    Why is this nice?

    Because there are a lot of people out there who cannot spell their own email address.  I get subscribed to a LOT of newsletters by people who are, I assume, making typographical errors—multiple newsletters a week.

    If you use a confirmation message like this, the typo-ee is not stuck with dealing with your newsletter, and the typo-er, if they are really interested, will go back to the signup page and try again—hopefully with their typing fingers on.

  21. 21
    Joslyn Cook says:

    I’ve been having problems with WriterSpace for a while. Several years ago, I was a member of the site and subbed to a couple of author email lists. Ever since then, I get randomly added to some author’s mailing list every few months, and have to unsub. I’ve even deleted all my info from the site, as much as I could find, and just unsubbed from another list today. It’s annoying, but at this point I think it’s a glitch of some kind in the mailing list automation.

    Then there’s the Irish musician that I have never heard of whose list suddenly appeared in my inbox. When I asked to be removed, it stopped coming for almost a year. I had to ask again. It still shows up in my spam folder every once in a while.

  22. 22
    trudy says:

    I liken this situation to how the federal govt transfers support programs back on to the individual states. Publishers have transferred their support programs back to the authors. And that has created all sorts of side businesses like marketing folks who advise authors on how to build their brand, create their platforms, how to get their name out there to get their book attention. It’s newsletters, blogs, fb, G+, twitter – and maintaining all that is a heck of a lot of work. And so much more than ‘writing the book of your heart.’ This is one tough business that is going through a major transition. Yeah, I get lots of newsletters. Most I don’t read, some I look forward to because authors put so much work into them. And they provide jobs to author assistants. Most authors are so kind and generous and give so much of their work, advice, counsel for free all while trying to make a living.  I get the annoyance factor, but I’m not so quick to jump on this bandwagon. 

  23. 23
    MikiS says:

    A few years back I used to belong to a couple of those reader lists on Yahoo, including one I helped moderate.  We’d have authors and/or indie epubs come to chat with our members, often offering freebies to entice people to come play.  In the beginning it was a lot of fun, and I signed up for the newsletters for the authors whose work interested me.  But eventually, there were authors who’d take the email addresses of everyone who participated in the chat and force-add them to their newsletters.  If it was done on an indie epub day, I’d mention to the publisher they might want to let their authors know that’s not kosher…and, as others have said, ended up half the time getting scolded at for not understanding how difficult it is to be an author, etc.

    Sadly, I just added all those folks to my SPAM list and never read them.  It never occurred to me (after the first couple of scoldings) to try to report them to their marketing company. 

  24. 24
    Jami Gold says:

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Just a few days ago, I got an email from an author who automatically subscribed me to her newsletter because I happened to comment on her blog. It even said at the bottom of the email “You are receiving this email because you’ve commented on x’s blog.”

    What? Since when is commenting on a blog an opt-in to a newsletter? This author is being stupid and shortsighted. She’s using Mail Chimp, which when you click unsubscribe brings up a list of reasons (provided by Mail Chimp) of why you’re unsubscribing (I changed my mind, I never signed up, This is spam, etc.). How many “This is spam” notices do you think it will take Mail Chimp to receive before they delete her account (and all those contacts)? Not very many, I bet.

    So she’s risking their whole newsletter list for what? Stupidity? A sense of entitlement? As you said, access does *not* equal permission.

    Great post! Thanks, Sarah!

  25. 25

    Brilliant post. I was careful to make sure there’s an opt-out for my own newsletter, but didn’t know about double opt-in, which sounds a good idea. I’m off to check with my webmeister to see if he’s arranged that. Thanks for the tip.

  26. 26
    Sarah Morgan says:

    This is totally spooky but the day after I read this I woke up to find my first ever spam author newsletter in my personal email box. Shiver.

  27. 27
    Ella Quinn says:

    I don’t understand how ANYONE could think signing up another person who didn’t ask is a good thing. Boggles the mind.

  28. 28
    Dragoness Eclectic says:

    I don’t give a damn if an author farts ponies and rainbows and personally rescues starving kittens all day long, if they spam me, it’s spam, and I will think that they suck for spamming.  “Boo-hoo, that spammer worked so hard to send you their marketing crap” … fails to impress.

  29. 29

    I agree with this post. I’m not a fan of being opted into anything I didn’t ask for. It’s bad enough with marketers selling products, but I always find it trickier with author newsletters.

    I hate email as it is, and to receive a deluge of unrequested email newsletters is frustrating. Especially ones without the opt out button to a company like Constant Contact, where the instructions are to email the author back and tell them personally you don’t want their newsletter. Which I am loathe to do as it makes for a rather awkward dialogue.

    I hope they change the rules so that no one can be subscribed to anything without their express permission rather than just being bad etiquette, form or judgment.

    Great post topic.

  30. 30
    Laurie says:

    I *absolutely* hate it when I get a newsletter in my in-box that I didn’t sign up for.  I unsubscribe immediately, and I’ll go as far as avoiding that author.  Yes, I hate it that much!

  31. 31

    As a (hopefully) up and coming author, I think this information is essential. I’ve been spammed, not often, but enough to know I would not knowingly do it to someone else. But for a newbie like me, there is so much to learn about the ins and outs of social media and gaining a fan base that I can see how it’s possible to unwittingly do something really stupid (although I don’t think even I would be ignorant enough to sign up someone to a newsletter who didn’t first ask for it.)

    Thanks for the head’s up.

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