NEVER, ever, “reply” with the words “unsubscribe” in the subject line.
First of all, I never signed up for your email newsletter. I never asked to be dripped on. Did we actually ever meet? We did? That business card you asked me for didn’t have a message on the back requesting you add me to all your campaigns did it? What’s that you say? You assumed I’d like to “stay informed”.
You are the reason I started and maintain my other blog, “Newsletters I never signed up for”.
Secondly, real spammers fire off thousands millions of emails to recipients who’s email addresses they’ve bought from unscrupulous sources, scraped from sites, or just flat out guessed.
Check this out…
Guessing. My site is AreWeConnected.com so you could ‘guess’ that there’s an email address for info@, or perhaps office@, or for towards the personal side: mike@ mikemueller@, mmueller@ or mike.mueller@.
A spammer could build a small program that takes a URL, combines it with 147 different front end options and emails them all. That program isn’t a ‘could’, it’s a reality. And that little program will spit out millions of emails a day.
Send a million guessed emails a day and one of two things is going to happen
- You guessed wrong and the email bounced
- You guessed right and the email didn’t bounce
The program simply removes the wrong guesses and moves on.
Of the ones that didn’t bounce, they may have been caught in a spam filter, the recipient didn’t open them, the recipient opened and then deleted it, or it’s just sitting the inbox site unseen. All the spammer knows is that the email didn’t bounce.
Unless you reply. By sending a reply, any reply, the spammer instantly knows the email address was good, it bypassed all spam filters, it was seen by a real human, and a real human replied! This is of HUGE value to a spammer.
Time is money. Data is money. Accurate timely data is even money’r! (yeah that’s not a word) Reply to a spammer and your email address is now elevated to a exclusive list. Let’s call that list, “Verified Current and Real Email Addresses from August 21st, 2012”. That list will be sold to other spammers over and over again in the following days, weeks and months. We’ve gone from SPAM to SCAM. Guess what happens next? That’s right! You started getting more and more spam email from other people.
That’s why, instead of replying to unsubscribe, I’m telling Google that your email is spam. If enough people do that, Google will block you, and not just for me – but for all the gmail users out there! When that happens, other email systems will also pick up on that and block your domain, address or even IP.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Don’t add people to email lists without their specific approval in the first place.
If you do, don’t rely on the “reply to unsubscribe” – that’s not going to cut it in my house.