Topica’s Anti-Spam Policy
An Introduction to Topica and the Abuse Prevention Community
As one of the largest email service providers, Topica Inc. works
with the email abuse prevention community to find solutions to
the problem of unsolicited email. The company has consistently
taken a leadership role in abuse prevention:
|| In Q3 2003, Topica along with 36 other Email
Service Providers, announced technical specifications
and requirements necessary for the development
of a robust system designed to eradicate spam
by attacking the root of the problem — a
lack of secure identity and accountability in
email. This unique registry approach, named Project
Lumos, provides Internet Service Providers
(ISPs) and others with a means of securely identifying
and authenticating email senders. A whitepaper
was released detailing the architecture and its
|| In Q1 2003, Topica, along with eighteen other
major Email Service Providers, became a founding
member of the Email Service Provider Coalition
of the National Advertising Initiative (NAI).
This group was formed in response to overwhelming
public concern regarding the proliferation of
spam and business concerns regarding the increasing
difficulty in delivering legitimate, permission-based
|| In Q4, 2002, Topica joins the Internet
Alliance and announces new partnerships with
associations and companies aimed at abuse.
|| In Q3, 2002, Topica began offering new tools
to encourage the use of Confirmed Opt-in among
users of Topica Email Publisher, its paid service.
The company also began utilizing innovative "shut-down"
tools to further enforce its permission policies. The same applies
to all subsequently launched services.
|| In 2001, Topica Exchange, the free service
hosting over 50,000 discussion groups and newsletters,
moved to require Confirmed Opt-in (Double opt-in)
for 100% of all subscribers added to the service.
Lists on Topica Exchange serve over 50 million
subscribers, making the service one of the largest
confirmed opt-in communities and giving testimony
to the effectiveness of confirmed opt-in.
Topica is proud to be a member of TRUST-e
and the Internet
Alliance, organizations that are dedicated to protecting
consumer privacy, curbing unsolicited commercial email
(or "Spam"), and promoting responsible email
Email is a critical and effective means of
communication for groups like legitimate marketers,
publishers, non-profits and small businesses. All users
suffer when inboxes are clogged with mail that is unwanted
and unrequested, i.e. Spam.
Technically, "Spam" is defined as Unsolicited
Commercial Email (UCE). But beyond the technical definition,
there is confusion: What email is wanted? What constitutes
The answer is simple: If you are not 100% sure as
a list owner that you are using an email address for
the purpose for which permission was given to you, you
are probably sending Spam.
Topica has a strict policy against Spam. As one of
the nation’s largest and most popular providers of email
services, now serving over 50,000 mailers, we feel a
responsibility towards strict enforcement of permission-based
practices. When a subscriber complains, they are unsubscribed
from a list, and these subscriber complaints are investigated
and often result in termination of a List Owner’s account
with us. This policy will tell you about the tools we
give List Owners to help make sure their email is permission-based,
and will let you know how we enforce our policy.
What You Should Know
as a List Owner
Topica offers a free list-hosting service, Topica Exchange, as
well as a paid marketing application, the Topica Online Marketing and
Sales Solution. Whichever service you use, Topica follows strict
permission-based email policies to insure that mail is only sent
to subscribers who have asked to receive it. We have invested
heavily in extensive measures to prevent unsolicited commercial
email from being sent through our services.
Whether you are using Topica Exchange or Topica’s Online Marketing and
Sales Solution, we require that you abide by our
strictly-enforced Terms of Service. These Terms state that Topica
will not be used to "transmit, disseminate or upload spam, chain
letters, junk mail or any other type of unsolicited mass
email..." In the event that Topica determines that a List Owner
is sending email to subscribers who have not given permission to
receive it, Topica has the right to delete a customer’s list and
terminate their use of the Topica service.
Topica Exchange is our free list-hosting service. It’s
a service dedicated to the creation and management of
free discussion groups and newsletters. It’s a 100%
confirmed opt-in service, where subscribers to every
list hosted on the service must confirm their subscription
by responding to a confirmation email.
Topica’s Online Marketing and
Topica’s Online Marketing and Sales Solution is our paid marketing
service. Its users may collect and import customers with
permission from those customers
There are several precautions that we take to prevent
the possibility of Spam:
|| On Topica Exchange, we require that all lists
be confirmed opt-in and provide the tools for
your subscribers to confirm their subscription
to your discussion group or newsletter, meaning
they must respond to a confirmation email sent
to them after the user has either subscribed to
a list or has been added to a list by you, the
|| On Topica Exchange discussion groups, only
subscribers of a particular list are permitted
to post messages to that list. This prevents posting
from unknown persons outside the community.
On Topica’s Online Marketing and Sales Solution, it’s
not a requirement that lists be confirmed opt-in but we provide
the tools (and highly recommend their use) for your subscribers
to confirm their subscription to your list by responding to a
confirmation email (whether they’ve signed up through a
remote subscription form that we provide or whether you add
subscribers directly). We also provide the tools that allow you
to send existing, "unconfirmed" subscribers messages
asking that they confirm their subscription to your list.
|| All email sent by Topica must include an "Unsubscribe"
link that automatically removes the recipient’s
address from that list.
|| Any subscriber email addresses that are publicly
displayed (such are on the Demographic Survey
page on Topica) are encoded on
our sites to ensure that email harvesters are
unable to collect them.
|| Topica supports and provides administrative
tools to make it easy for anyone to moderate their
own list, specifically discussion lists on Topica
Exchange. This allows List Owners to serve as
a Spam filter on their own lists.
|| Topica prohibits email sent to Role Accounts.
Role Accounts are specific email aliases, such
as info@---.com that are reserved by convention
to be used by departments, job roles, or distribution
lists for groups of people. If you know of any
of your subscribers using a role account, please
let them know that they should use a personal
email address or another email account to subscribe
to your list. If you have any questions specifically
on role accounts and Topica’s restriction of their
use, please contact our Privacy and Standards department.
|| Individuals within our Privacy and Standards
and our Customer Success departments are dedicated
to monitoring our abuse queues, which alert us
to complaints on mail sent through our services,
and ensuring the proper use our system. A violation
of our terms of service, which strictly prohibits
the sending of anything other than permission-based
mail, will lead to a termination of service.
What You Should
Know as a Subscriber to a List on Topica
Unsubscribing from Mail Sent Through Topica
We provide One-Click Unsubscribe Links in every email
we send. You, as a subscriber to mail sent through Topica,
can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the Unsubscribe
link at the bottom of any Topica email. Your email address
will be automatically removed from that mailing list,
although it may take up to 24-48 hours to process.
We also provide Global Unsubscribe to subscribers
to mail sent through Topica. This is an easy way for
you to unsubscribe from all mail sent through our services.
For details, click
If our systems are temporarily down or you suspect,
for any reason, that your email address has not been
unsubscribed upon request, please contact our Customer Success department.
How to Send Us Spam Complaints
If you feel that you’ve received mail sent through Topica
that you did not request, please contact our Abuse Team including a copy of the offending eamil.
Also, if you suspect someone of abusing Topica’s services,
please let our Abuse Team know so
that we can take the appropriate steps.
What All Users Can Expect
from Topica, Inc.
All users can expect that we take Spam very seriously
and have spent great efforts to restrict its presence
on our services.
Know that we’ve taken many precautions and have provided
many tools to our List Owners to ensure that our service
be used to send mail to only those recipients that have
Know that we make unsubscribing for any Topica list
as easy and quick as possible. We mandate that unsubscribe
links be included in every email sent from our service
and we make it possible for subscribers to remove themselves
from all lists sent from any of our services. For details,
Know that our dedicated Privacy and Standards
and our Customer Success teams diligently monitor all
mail that comes to us with complaints of Spam and complaints
of abuse on our system. We monitor this mail and take
action on any violators of our terms of service, strictly
enforcing our policy that only permission-based mail
be sent through our services.
Know that we stand in front of all email sent through
our services. We’re very proud to be one of the largest
and most popular email publishing services on the Internet
today. We’re proud to place the Topica brand in our
mailings. And we’re proud to offer our services in a
way that curbs the use of Spam and protects users’ privacy
and stays true to our partnerships with the Internet
Alliance and TrustE.
Information on Topica’s
Anti-Spam Policy for ISPs and Network Administrators
Topica offers a free list-hosting service,
as well as paid marketing automation software. Topica
follows strict permission-based email policies across
both services to insure that mail is only sent to subscribers
who have asked to receive it, and we have invested heavily
in extensive measures to prevent unsolicited commercial
email (or "Spam") from being sent through
Topica. Our anti-spam policy is something we take very
seriously; therefore we have implemented the following
Dedicated Team: We established a dedicated
Privacy and Standards team, led by Bill McCaulley, Vice President
of Finance and Operations. This team proactively educates
our customers regarding best practices, and we take
fast action when abuse occurs. Our Privacy and Standards
department as well as individuals in our Customer Success
department are dedicated to monitoring our abuse queues,
which alert us to complaints on mail sent through our
Strict Requirements: We require List Owners
with large opt-in lists to submit disclosure forms,
for review by our Privacy and Standards department prior
to activation. All email sent through our system includes
header information that identifies the List Owner that
sent the mail.
Bad Address Detection: We have proprietary
technology for the detection of bad addresses upon import,
automatically disabling accounts when addresses appear
not to be permission-based.
Complaint Tracking: We track complaint levels
for each List Owner and each list. Our strict suspension
processes allow us to suspend customers quickly upon
proof of abuse. If users on your service complain about
messages sent from our service, please forward the message
in question with full headers and with the original
recipient email address intact to our Privacy and Standards department.
After receiving this, our Privacy and Standards team
will be able to handle complaints in accordance with
our Terms of Service. Actions may include account suspension
and account termination.
If you administer a large network, we can set up a
dedicated process and established complaint threshold
for handling your users’ complaints. When your users
complain regarding email from any of our domains, we
can set up a priority address for you to forward the
complaints to us. If you would like us to set up a priority
complaint queue for your domain, please contact our Privacy and Standards department.
If you’re looking to unsubscribe multiple individuals
or a domain from the Topica services, please have the
authorized representative of your company contact our Abuse Team.
If you have questions or concerns about our policies,
please contact our Privacy and Standards department.