Nov 19, 2007

A Few Techniques To Keep Spam Under Control

Everyone at some point in there life has been affected by the big "S" when it comes to the Internet. No I don`t mean surfing or another four letter word that I can`t use here. I am specifically talking about spam, and I do not mean that canned processed meat you can find at your local grocery store or market. (What is that stuff anyway?)

I am talking about spam, the unsolicited email. Many laws have been passed to curtail businesses from "spamming" people, or sending email to them that they just didn`t ask to receive. If you are reading this and you do send out unsolicited emails to people, rest assured you are breaking the law.

According to a recent article in PC World magazine by Grant Gross a, "temporary restraining order was issued by Federal Judge Morton Denlow of the Northern District Court of Illinois to Sill Neutraceuticals. The order calls for the company to stop sending unsolicited e-mail for its products." Gross goes on to say, "It was issued following a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the company and its owner Brain McDaid. In the lawsuit, FTC accuses Sill and McDaid of spare-marketing their Web sites based on false claims on the efficacy of their products."

In defense of some companies that do send out large bulk emailing to market their products or services, they sometimes purchase large mailing lists, from list servers or brokers and other companies that collect email addresses. They are told that these emails were collected via opt-in lists.

An opt-in list means a person agreed to receive emails from companies and then "opted in" by entering their email address. What happens a lot of times are that these list brokers (who sell the email addresses) gather a lot of these emails unethically by crawling the Internet and indexing pages that email addresses appear and then do a technique called "scraping" to retrieve the email address off of the page and store it into their own database.

These businesses then buy these lists, and spam is born. Here are some ways to protect yourself if you are going to use email as a marketing campaign. First, whether you have a Blog, website or whatever, you should have an area where your visitors can enter their email address to receive your newsletter. Always, always, always have an "opt out" option on your newsletter. It goes a long way to the consumer if they know they can stop receiving your email. Second, if you are going to buy a list, which I don`t recommend you do, but if you do, make sure you purchase from a reputable company, and ask them where and how they obtain those email addresses.

If you are a consumer and like to sign up for the occasional newsletter from companies who sell products or talk about their services, then I recommend that you sign up for a free email account from sites like Yahoo or Google. Use that email address to receive your newsletters. The newsletters won`t clutter up your personal inbox and your "real" email address gets far less exposure on the Internet.

Email programs such as Outlook and even the free email accounts have options where you can setup spam and junk folders as well as create block lists and so on. There are ways to combat receiving or at least keep it under control and of course if you own a business, not falling into the trap of sending it. Use these tips above and you are sure to not get aggravated by it.

Seriously what is that canned meat anyway?

By: Bruce A. Tucker

About the Author:

Bruce A. Tucker is the Associate Director of, an online resource that allows businesses and individuals to post their products and services for sale in 20,000 cities throughout 200 countries around the world.

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