New Spam Format

Just recently I’ve been getting a lot of emails with the content and the format of something a marketer might write.  These emails suggest that I’m on their mailing list, which of course I’m not as I have a single email account for all my marketing emails.

At the bottom of every convincing sounding email is a convincing looking unsubscribe link, always on a private domain, and never from a service like Aweber or Get Response…

I’ve never clicked one, but my guess is if I did, all I’m doing is confirming my email address and adding myself to the spammers “good” email list.  That list will then likely be sold.

I’ve had emails like this before, but never as well written.  So well written that it’s clear they’re originating from an English speaking source.

The marketing format is probably because the spammers have realised that marketers are the ones that are sending most email out, and by adopting that format they’re working on the confusion that might arise in your mind.

“Hmm…  I don’t remember asking for this…  I’ll unsubscribe anyway as it could be something I did ask for but now no longer want.”

This is bad news for marketers, as while most are responsible and use double opt-in (also known as confirmed opt in), as people get more and more of this new spam format, then the publics perception of marketers will be that anything goes.

Just be aware, and don’t be tempted to click the link if it’s an email that you have no idea of where it’s come from.

The fewer people that click the unsubscribe link, then the fewer spammers will use these methods.

-Frank Haywood



4 Comments

  1. Sandor says:

    Good Day Frank,

    Thank you for your kind announcement.

    But I have to admit, I experienced this already approximately a month of it. And initially I clicked the unsubscribe button in cca. three or four cases, later already but not.

    What happened?

    You bet it, all kinds of spam letters I receive, which I delete without a perusal, since then, but I don’t click to any unsubscribe link because I’m convinced they are spam.

    I don’t know what it would be possible to make against these, IMHO this will belongs to the business now.

    I am not annoyed at them already, I use it often merely the delete button.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Sandor

  2. Dave says:

    I cannot tell you how many garbage e-mails I receive and quite a few have these unsubscribe links in them. I also get hundreds of obvious spam e-mails that use legitimate “from” dmains. When I contact these domains, they complain that someone has used their domain name without permission and I find that virtually all of these e-mails come from domains that have nothing to do with the content of the e-mails. Therefore, they are almost impossible to stop. I also get e-mails using MY domain and e-mail as the issued to address so if I blaklist those, I do not get my good e-mails. Something HAS to be done about people using these tactics. The ones I actually tracked down come from China or Japan.

  3. Frank Haywood says:

    Dave:

    If you’re using cPanel, activate Spam Assassin, and if you’re using the X3 theme, enable DomainKeys and SPF. You’ll see a dramatic decrease in the amount of spam you receive.

    One of my developers has recently started using Postini, and says his spam has been reduced to ZERO.

    http://www.postini.com/postini_solutions/email_security.php

    -Frank

  4. Frank,

    Your analysis is accurate. I get a lot of these in my Gmail account and they get automatically routed to Spam. And since I took Google’s advice and hardly delete anything, it’s quite simple to perform a search to see if I somehow subscribed.

    The answer is always “no”.

    Of course, if I did subscribe, I’ll use the “unsubscribe” link. If you asked for an email, I think that reporting it as spam isn’t a good thing to do.

    If I know the product being promoted in a spam email or know the product creator / owner, I’ll often send them a copy of the email. It’s not fair to legitimate affiliates when they have to compete with a spammer, and no legitimate marketer wants to see their reputation tarnished by a spammer.

    And of course, it goes without saying that one should NEVER reward a spammer by purchasing a product advertised in an unsolicited email!

    Best regards,
    Tom

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