Trouble Subscribing?

This page has info about what to do if you’ve had trouble signing up for our newsletters (and why that might be).

There are two main problems being reported: You don’t get the verification e-mail so you can confirm your subscription, or your address is actually refused a subscription.

1) You Don’t Get the Verification E-Mail

In 99% of all cases, this is because you/your ISP has their spam filters set too tight. (And 1% of the time, it’s because you’re at work and your employer doesn’t want you to play on their time.)

If you can’t even get the verification e-mail, and AWeber and I both do require you to confirm your subscription request, what makes you think you’ll get the newsletters through that same spam filter?!

Really: get a free webmail address from a good provider. The best one, by far, is Google’s Gmail. It works great, and while there are ads that show, they don’t flash in your face (like, say, Yahoo’s and Hotmail’s webmail do). And you can always retrieve any mail that’s incorrectly marked as spam. Yahoo’s webmail is pretty good as an alternative, if you can avoid having epileptic fits from the flashing ads. Hotmail? Don’t bother: it truly sucks.

GMail allows you to get your mail from any computer, allows you to use “https” connections to encrypt your mail sessions, and even has an offline mode that allows you to answer mail — when you’re on a plane, for instance. It allows you to send mail “from” any legitimate address you own, too — it’s actually what I use to filter my mail! (Details)

2) Your Address is Refused

Several readers have written to say they got a response like this when they try to subscribe:

An Error Occurred


The email address you submitted was previously blocked by the system from receiving information.

If you believe this is incorrect, please push the “back” button on your web browser and send the email address you submitted along with block ID #(whatever) to the website owner.

Alternately, you may push the “back” button and enter a different email address.

What this means: You — or someone who has access to your address — asked to subscribe to a newsletter (not necessarily ours, but any newsletter distributed by AWeber, who is our ESP, or Email Service Provider), then confirmed that subscription request, and still marked that mail you asked to receive was “spam”.

This is unconscionable behavior. You’re accusing someone you asked to send a newsletter of criminal activity! (Spam is against the law in the United States and many other countries.) Therefore, you’re not welcome to use AWeber’s services.

Despite the suggestion that you can write to us to say this is “incorrect” and send the “block ID #”, AWeber policy is to not remove the address from their block list. I have no way to make an exception to this decision.

Now, you might say “But after I asked for that info, they kept sending me more stuff!” Yeah, that’s what newsletters do! They keep coming until you ask for it to stop, which means following the proper unsubscribe procedure that’s included in every issue without fail: there is literally no way to turn off the unsubscribe links in AWeber-delivered mail.

Hitting the “This is Spam” button is not a legitimate way to get off a newsletter list, clicking the “Unsubscribe” link is. AWeber knows that the link is there in every single mailing, because there’s no way for a publisher to remove it. And they know that their unsubscribe process works immediately, it works every time, and it works without fail, even if you can no longer send mail from that address.

And you know what? That’s one of the reasons I moved to AWeber! I don’t want people damaging my reputation by saying there’s any spam involved with my operations. So if you want to get True you have to 1) clean up your act, and 2) use a different address.

(And if you’re truly an innocent victim, someone who got an address someone else had before you and they’re the ones responsible: sorry, but most people say “I didn’t do that.” You’ll have to suffer for the actions of the owner of your address before you.)


I really do try to make it easy for you to subscribe and enjoy This is True for free. But I do draw the line at people who accuse legitimate e-mail publishers of spamming when you’ve asked for and confirmed you want the mail — you’re just not wanted! And while the “Spam War” is truly a war on spam, complete with innocent casualties, spam filtering is not rocket science, as GMail has proven. If your ISP won’t let you get the mail you actually want (and I’ll bet you still get plenty you don’t!), then switch!