Why you should never give the NRA your email address

The first time I joined the NRA I gave them my email address, thinking I would get valuable information. Instead, all I got was a bunch of “special offers,” notifications that my membership was “about to expire” (in only 11 months! Hurry!) and requests for donations. I ended up abandoning that address a few years later and using it as a spam trap.

In the last couple of week, I started using that address again for another project I’ve started. The first thing I did was start unsubscribing to things like the FAA newsletter (because I gave that email address to a local plane rental outfit) and the eleventy billion lists the NRA generates. It’s worked out pretty well.

Except.

The “NRA Special Offers” emails I get for things like credit cards, wine of the month clubs, and NASCAR tickets have an unsubscribe link that doesn’t work. This is a violation of the CAN-SPAM act and can result in civil and criminal penalties. The reason why the link doesn’t work is because it points to NRAMedia.org which has apparently been abandoned. Easy fix.

Yes, I have emailed them about this. No, it hasn’t been fixed yet.

LATER: Appears to be fixed now, after a response from the webmaster that I shouldn’t try to go directly to nramedia.org, but should click the unsubscribe link. I was doing that, but you can’t go to www.nramedia.org/abunchofrandomcharacters&unsubscribe=YESPLEASE if your computer can’t reach nramedia.org in the first place. Miraculously the link worked after I got the email, even though it hadn’t work on two computers and three different browsers over the course of 7 days, and was reported as down by DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com.

4 comments to Why you should never give the NRA your email address

  • I’ll tell some folks I know there about the unsubscribe. I doubt it’s deliberate. They don’t quite have their technology act together.

  • Secret Squirrel

    When I signed up initially I emailed their membership account and asked to be put on the Do Not Promote list. This seems to have worked fairly well — I only get the NRA-ILA updates, which I believe I asked for.

  • a leap at the wheel

    I have an email alias that forwards to my primary account. Everything forwarded from that alias bypasses the inbox and gets that tag (it’s Gmail). It’s a nice setup that allows me to i) set up custom rules to make particular source domains not skip the inbox and ii) lets me search for just one account for anything I might actually want.

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