Category: Spam

man and woman in brown leather coat standing on brown soil

What does your relationship look like?

Delivering mail successfully is a full-time job for a lot of people. My full-time job is handling complaints about the mail. What do those complaints look like? Well, they fall into a few different buckets: Please unsubscribe me.This is spam.“I’ve asked to be removed from your customer’s list and they just refuse.”“Your mail server is… Read More

What is a spamtrap?

One of the issues that I get to deal with in policy enforcement is handling complaints about customers sending messages to “spamtraps.” This invariably leads to a discussion about what, exactly, is a spamtrap? There are a lot of different answers out there. For instance, a 2019 blog post at Validity asserts that it is… Read More

Political spam: A Few Stats

I’m not enamored with political senders. As a group, they tend to have a sense of entitlement to engage in poor practices. So, they buy, sell, rent, and trade lists. Today’s post is a case study in the last presidential election. I gave tagged addresses to the Trump, Warren, Sanders, and Clinton campaigns. In each… Read More

So tell us how you REALLY feel

People will sometimes ask me why I hate the Lead Generation (lead gen) and Payday Loan industries. Ultimately, it’s because they have such deep problems that I don’t think that any self-respecting ESP should take them on as a client. This morning, I saw a [acp author=”United States Federal Trade Commission” id=”FTC-01″ title=”Data Broker Defendants Settle FTC… Read More

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What happened to Compu-Finder?

The CTRC said today that it has issued its first penalty against someone for sending emails violating Canada’s anti-spam law. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, ​CRTC Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer Issues $1.1 Million Penalty to Compu-Finder for Spamming Canadians​, Government of Canada (2015), https://www.canada.ca/en/news/archive/2015/03/crtc-chief-compliance-enforcement-officer-issues-1-1-million-penalty-compu-finder-spamming-canadians.html (last visited Jun 2, 2024). The penalty is substantial (C$1.1… Read More

Don’t opt-out of spam?

Yesterday, Laura Atkins wrote a blog post which suggests that unsubscribing from spam doesn’t result in receiving more spam ​(Atkins 2013)​. I know that this is a project that she’s been working on for at least a month, and I don’t have any reason to doubt her results. Additionally, she links to ​(Magill 2013)​, ​(Pogue 2013)​,… Read More

Wherein Zoominfo causes spam

Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg, and Lead411 are popular lead generation sources. Every once in a while someone comes along and tries to defend the use of crowd sourced list generation services (of which ZoomInfo and Jigsaw seem to be the largest). These systems work by allowing people to download contact information for third parties in exchange for the… Read More

Looking at a spam stream: The story of Jimmy Walker

I was recently asked about how to go about proving that someone was not obtaining email addresses in a direct, opt-in manner. The methodology won’t surprise you, and if you have been involved in helping problematic clients for a while, the results might not even surprise you. The “someone” at issue was a payday loaner.… Read More

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You call it “Appending,” they call it “Epending,” I call it “Evil”

It’s been a long week and you’re relaxing at the local watering hole.  Someone comes over and strikes up a conversation with you and the two of you end up spending the next hour together.  Nothing happens and you are okay with that.  Perhaps they weren’t really your type, but when they asked for your… Read More

Can I Help You?

I just finished an Emergency Medical Responder course. I’m not a paramedic, I’m not even an EMT, but I am now qualified to stop and give people help until those folks show up. As I reflect on the course, I see some parallels to email marketing. Over the next few days, I’ll be talking about… Read More

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