Every day I receive spam in my inbox that some spambot sent about how they can help me build a better website at a cheaper price, get me on the 1st page of Google, help me with my AdWords, build a better email template, shopping cart, social media strategy, blah blah blah blah blah…. I promptly curse at the practice of spamming, delete the emails and then go about my day.
The only problem is my clients get these emails every day too, and apparently they aren’t aware these emails are spam, scams, phishing attempts, and other malicious malcontents. So quite often I have clients forwarding these spam emails to me saying, “Hey this company says my website rankings stink and they can help! What’s the deal??” So now I have to take time out of my busy day to try to explain the difference between legitimate email (people who you already know, or companies with which you have an established relationship) and spam. So in reality, spam is a double productivity killer for me… GRRR!!
Since it’s apparently difficult for the regular email consumer to know the difference between legitimate email and spam I’ve decided to offer the following advice:
1) According to the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 it is illegal for companies to email you unless you’ve explicitly authorized them to email you, or you’ve done business with them and they are emailing you as a result of the ongoing relationship you have with their company. So, do you want to do business with someone who is violating federal law?
2) If someone is sending you an email out of the blue soliciting their services and you’ve never heard of them before, DELETE IT.
3) If someone is sending you an email from a Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Live or other ‘free’ email account soliciting their services, DELETE IT. (This isn’t foolproof, but they are more likely to be a legitimate company if they have a real website address. I don’t send email to my clients using my Gmail account, I send email using my @webtivitydesigns.com email account.)
4) When it comes to people sending you spam about how they “just looked at your website and noticed you don’t rank well on the search engines”, DELETE IT. They didn’t look at your website, they unleashed a spambot across the internet hoping it would get into enough people’s inboxes and that a few people would actually respond. In fact, even Google gets these same emails! Here is an excerpt from the Google Webmaster Tools website:
- Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.
Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”
Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.
I can’t say it any better, Google… I can’t say it any better.
While I was preparing this Blog post I received the following spam through my Facebook page:
Robert Martin 4:08pm
Estate Investment Project proposal:
Dear, I came across your page in this social network website during my official browsing hours, and decided to contact you right away. Well I have the honor to introduce myself as Robert Martin, a citizen of Jordan, but currently residing in the United Kingdom where I run an estate development firm. However, I contacted you with the view to build a mutual investment partnership with regard to the desire to invest in estate development over there in your country, if you are willing to partner with me in this estate investment project in view, be assured that the project will be to our great advantage, because real estate investment has being lucrative and rewarding worldwide, feel free to send an e-mail for more briefing and other necessary information. However, if this partnership proposal is against your moral ethics, accepts my apologies . In the same vain, if you are interested, do write back to me with this email, Robertmartin41@yahoo.com as I will be glad to receive your response. Yours, ROBERT MARTIN
Need I say any more????!!!!