Tips & Tricks: Staying off of SPAM lists
Here are a few tricks for keeping your email address free of unsolicited emails. NOTE: These tips and tricks do not prevent unsolicited emails and do not guarantee that you will not at some point receive a third-party offer from “someone” who rented a list your email address was on.
- Do not respond to/forward chain emails. They look fun and I know you really want a call from that certain someone, but just don’t do it.
- Refrain from adding your email address to a website by using “mailto:email@example.com” in an HREF . Scrapers look for these tags and will quickly find your address and add it to the most unscrupulous of lists. Expect to start receiving “little blue pill” emails if you do this.
- Don’t sign-up to receive emails before you have read the terms and conditions. Some (not all) websites gather emails to rent to third parties. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to be aware of what you have signed up for. If you do sign-up I recommend a little black book in which you note the URL that you visited to subscribe to the list just in case you want to unsubscribe easily later.
- Are you dropping your card into that fish bowl for a free lunch? There are establishments that have a bowl that says drop in your business card and win a free lunch or a chance to win a motor boat. This is a great way to drum up business and also a way to gather email addresses. Not everyone has the best ethics when it comes to following the CAN-SPAM Act and thus you need to be on your toes and understand that every time your email address passes into the public domain it becomes susceptible for being scraped, gathered and used for SPAM.
- Use a separate email address, one you have created specifically for those times that you do give out your email address to websites and fishbowls and keep it separate from the one you give to friends and family. There are plenty of services that provide free email addresses.
Bottom line: You can do several things to mitigate risk, but short of not having an email address you will be hard pressed not to get unsolicited emails at least once in your life time. If you follow the tips we have provided above, your risk will be lowered and your in-box will love you for it.