No Spam

SPAM for Fun and Profit

SPAM for Fun and Profit

Sending SPAM for profit is a big business.   SPAMMERS are notorious for getting their messages out no matter what the cost. They hop from ESP to ESP – burning bridges as they go.  They are known to recruit anyone they can with a computer to send their SPAM for them.  Haven’t you seen the offers to send mass email from your home computer for cash?  This makes YOU a SPAMMER, which in the end, will get you kicked off your ISP.

Spammers know,  not everyone is interested in the promise of Enhanced Sexual Prowess and the Secret to Enteral Life.  Spammers think, what’s the big deal, it’s only email, and the recipient can easily delete unwanted messages or filter them out as junk mail.  Even so, some SPAMMER try to stay “legal” by including a PO BOX or physical address and an unsubscribe link (working or not) in their messages – but that does not change the questionable, unwanted junk emails they send.

We get it; the bottom line, Spammers do not care if it is right or wrong, unwanted and unsolicited. It’s their business.

SPAMMERS believe SPAM works because there are always a few recipients that open, read and act on their messages.  SPAM sells, and unfortunately, that encourages them to send more.

While they sell their magic cures and resell hanging tomato planters as I mentioned before , their mindset  is,  “it’s only email, it doesn’t cost anything to send and there’s little to none legal accountabilities associated with sending unsolicited  mail” so why not?

It is interesting to note some SPAMMERS (cases) were fined for violation of Federal and in some cases a State law:

Failing to offer an opt-out method

Using “free” in your subject line which maybe seen as deceptive.

Violation of California SPAM Laws using False Headers

Failure to include a valid physical address

ISP’s also have their rules too, such as YAHOO (postmaster.yahoo.com)  However, none of these measures has stopped SPAMMERS

When SPAMMERS manage to find an ESP (Email Service Provider) to work with, whether upfront with their intentions but most likely not,  it’s the ESP’s sending reputation and black listing which causes havoc.  The SPAMMER can just pick up and leave, the ESP, well has to work through all the damage done to their business.

Damage to their business includes  the time it takes to parley with other ISP’s  (anyone from AOL to Yahoo),  working with the Black list companies,  possibly losing some customers,  and probably not getting paid from the SPAMMER in one way or another.  To recoup losses, your ESP might raise their prices and in some cases have gone out of business because of lost revenues.

However, money isn’t everything – SPAMMERS may not have cost you anything but they have altered your online behavior.

SPAMMERS have caused loss of trust.  How eager are you to click on an email invitation to download a free program or install a toolbar that may have some practical features, but can carry more “SPAMWEAR” than the emails you receive.  Did several of your friends send you an email with a  link that they think you’ll enjoy –Delete don’t Click: A SPAMMER obtained someone’s address book and you’re in it.

SPAMMERS steal our time.  How many email addresses do you manage? You probably started with one, your primary address then maybe a second one for newsletters or company offers. You may have opened a third to keep those other boxes “clean” of SPAM, using your third and maybe fourth email address when you really don’t care about leaving your email address on a form or offer  Have you noticed even if you never signed up for anything online, invariably you will start receiving those SPAMMY messages.

For example I have my company email, an AOL address that I rarely use, which is always riveted with SPAM a Gmail account and a Yahoo account which is bursting with SPAM.  I don’t use any of those email  boxes, just a member of convenience (for example) to use Yahoo Groups and Yahoo messenger. The aforementioned email accounts get so much SPAM they become unusable.  So free does come with a price.

Spammers do not care.

spam

Stamp out SPAM

As a legitimate email  marketer, you should  want to disassociate yourself with any inkling of being a SPAMMER.  Follow the CANN-SPAM ACT and check local State Laws.   Listen to your ESP, after all they should know the Best Email Practices, help you with your online email reputation and assist when someone complains.

Knowing your email’s spam score across receiving domains prior to each send gives you a view of how your emails will be filtered and routed, and provides you with the opportunity to adjust your content and maximize deliverability.

Lyris ListManager uses a ContentChecker for Email to test your email content against rules widely adopted by receiving domains to provide you with a spam score, which indicates whether your emails will arrive in your recipients’ inbox or junk folder.  An important tool for any email marketer.

Unsubscribe Compliance Rules for Email Senders

Unsubscribe Compliance Rules for Email Senders

Oh no, it’s you again. In the past month, didn’t I unsubscribe from your newsletter at least 3 times.  What a pain: you keep coming back.  I really did follow the unsubscribe instructions that were buried in your newsletter:  I even received a confirmation that said I was off your list and here you are again, in my in-box!  This time I have permanently filtered all messages from your domain to my junk folder.  And please be reassured that I never will read or visit anything concerning your products or services again.

Better yet, I’m going to report you to the FTC for violation of the CAN SPAM Act, and with social media, pester me again and you will find out what the power of social media really means.

Have you felt that way – just one too many SPAM messages in the in-box.  Who is sending that stuff anyway?

Like yourself, the proficient email marketer knows that you actually opted-in to their newsletter but they remove your email address when you unsubscribe – and some remove you with no questions asked.  And then there’s the unscrupulous email marketer who keeps putting you back on their list to boost up their subscription numbers – he or she may reason, why go through the trouble to reengage these people, it’s just easier to add them back on the list.

Both types of marketers, the proficient and unscrupulous, are subject to the rules and regulations spelled out in the CAN SPAM Act of 2003  along with the additional guidelines and extra rule changes imposed by the FTC in 2008.

The 2003 CAN SPAM Act with the FTC’s update provides ESPs and list owners the definitions and procedures for sending commercial electronic mail messages.  The rules cover Content compliance, Sending behavior compliance, and the topic of today’s discussion: Unsubscribe compliance.   Keep in mind the Government did not publish a list of the best unsubscribe practices they only published Unsubscribe compliance rules.

According to the CAN SPAM Act:

All senders of commercial email must provide a working opt-out mechanism for email recipients to unsubscribe from: a functioning URL or hyper link.  The actual opt-out process can be as straight forward as sending a reply with the word “remove” in the subject line to a more complicated procedure where the link goes to a landing page (preference page) with subscriber options such as changing the frequency of emails.

To recap, the online options to leave a list are:

  1. Reply to an email with one word in the subject line: i.e. “remove” or “unsubscribe”
  2. One-click to a landing page and enter their email address.
  3. A customized URL that has your email address coded in the link.  Click to unsubscribe and you receive an immediate confirmation.
  4. Click to a preference page or email management page.  Subscribers can update their subscription information and opt-in or opt-out if the sender is offering more than one newsletter.  The sender cannot require the recipient to give them any personal information or take, any other steps other than sending a reply or visiting a website opt-out page.
  5. No fees can be charged to unsubscribe.

In addition:

The unsubscribed address cannot be sold or transferred, unless of course it’s company that you engaged to help you comply with the CAN SPAM Act.

The sender must honor an opt-out request within 10 business days – (hmm does that gives a company more days to SPAM you.)

AND unsubscribe online isn’t the only option.  The CAN SPAM Act requires the sender to have a process in place to complete unsubscribe requests (within 10 days) received from different communications channels.  (USPS mail, telephone and so forth.)

stop spam

CAN SPAM

Those are the Unsubscribe compliance rules, check back here my list of The Unsubscribe Best Practices or join our blog list and never miss a new Blog Entry.

Have a blog you like to share on List Hosting, Email Marketing or similar topic?  Send it to info@dundee.net

Who put a Spam Trap in My Permission Based Email List?

Who put a Spam Trap in My Permission Based Email List?

Is your legitimate email being blacklisted because you picked up a spam trap address in your subscriber base?  What is a Spam Trap and what can you do about it. Where did it originate from and how can you stop them?

What is a Spam Trap?

Spam traps are secret, non-published email addresses that catch some list owners by surprise.  A Spam-Trap is a valid email address, used specifically to trap unsolicited email or spammers; hence the name Spam Trap  The Spam Trap premise is based on the belief that if the owner or former owner of an inactive email address has not checked email for a quite a while, why are you still sending email to this address?

Spam traps are used by many different organizations and can be created or designed as needed, usually from an inactive email account or an inactive domain.  To be effective, the address in question must be inactive for a considerable amount of time.

Frequent spam trap sources are those old email addresses that may have been used long ago, to post to Usenet or those addresses used as a function email addresses such at webmast@ and president@.  In other instances, addresses with a period of invalidity can be recycled as spam traps as well as email addresses that have never been used by a live person.

Who Uses Spam Traps?

Many organizations use spam traps, such as large ISP’s like AOL, companies that offer spam filters and organizations that specialize in email reputation.  Void of rules or regulations, organizations interpret spam trap information with charts, formulas and WAGs to block incoming emails based on their own understanding and methodology.

Spam Traps – The Blacklist Guaranty

The Blacklist guaranty – send a newsletter with a spam trap and you will be blocked or blacklisted in no time. This block may take the form of a permanent block on your sending IP Address; your future messages will not be delivered until you remove the spam trap address.  With your tarnished reputation and spammer label, no doubt you will become familiar with Blacklist reporting agencies like SpamCop and the Passive Spam Block List who will continue to keep you on their Blacklist until you resolve the spam trap issue.

Who put a Spam Trap in My Permission Based Email List?

A spam trap can be added to your list unknowingly by:

  1. Not using confirmed opted-in and other permission based maintenance
  2. Harvesting addresses
  3. Purchasing email addresses
  4. Renting email addresses
  5. Using an email Append service
  6. Deliberately added to your list
  7. Using an old list

How to Remove Spam Traps

Avoid spam traps.  Spam traps are near to impossible to remove and the reporting ISP, SPAMCop for example, will unlikely tell you which address to remove to get yourself off their Blacklist.  

You could reconfirm your list of subscribers and once again require them to confirm their subscription to your email newsletter.  You will lose subscribers because of the process and an a required action they have to take.

If reconfirming all your subscribers seems a little daunting, you may be able to identify a clean, free from spam trap address segment, from  part of the offending list (i.e. join date for example) that you can eliminate from the reconfirm process, thereby narrowing your losses from those who will not reconfirm.

In summary, removing a spam trap is a difficult task, and you may not be successful unless you reconfirm your list.  The better solution: make sure these offending address stay off your mailing lists altogether by following Safe Mailing Practices and not following the Worse Email Practices for List Management.

No Spam

No Spam

“No Spam allowed” ~ Dundee Internet is a permission-based email service provider and as such expressly forbids the transmission of unsolicited commercial email and unsolicited bulk email.

When it comes to list hosting and email deliverability we protect our customers with list hosting services for opt-in mailing lists only. For over a decade we have continued to maintain a solid relationship with the major ISP players, such as AOL, Yahoo, and MSN etc., to resolve any arising mailing issues with them, quickly and efficiently.

Unwanted, unsolicited bulk email is SPAM. SPAM costs everyone money. SPAM raises the delivery cost of legitimate email: the price for receiving, storing and removing unwanted mail effects us all.