Why Spam and Scam matter
There are two types of online marketers. One group that generates newsletter subscribers by putting out quality content or through excellent social media work. Or maybe they pay for advertising, have a witty guest blogging strategy or utilize solo ads.
Then there is this other group. They call themselves "online marketers" when all they are is spammers.
I am not talking about annoying people who spam their LinkedIn contacts. Not even about companies who put you back on their list a few months after you unsubscribed or the over motivated affiliate marketer. I am talking about those disgusting spammers that fake their "from" address and such. People who make a living from sending you unwanted messages while disguising who they are. Maggots.
They are a threat to any honest online business.
Why should you care?
Email can be a very powerful sales- and contact tool. But it is getting harder and harder to reach people. They are tired from all the unwanted messages. While legitimate marketers have an increasingly harder time to get their messages through the spam filters of providers, spammers will find a way.
Once you had to delete 12 unsolicited "great opportunity" messages you are not open to reading the 13th, legit one. Maybe you don´t look at the message and report it for spam.
Often, the subject line sounds similar. Try to send a message about a "work from home" opportunity...
Especially when you are marketing tools or service towards the internet entrepreneur market, you will have noticed that there is a bunch of wordings and such you cannot even use anymore.
Personally, I am also annoyed by spam. With wearable technology, cell phones and such the unwanted messages are getting closer to home.
How I got rid of about 90-95 % of spam for free
Sadly, I do not know a solution to stop spammers. Some paid email services are better at it - neither Google and even less other freemail providers can stop them. The problem will not stop as long as people click on the links and I often feel like I want to shake them and scream: Stop clicking on links of spammers, stupid!
I changed to Zoho Mail with professional anti-spam. It has the advantage that I can reject domains, even countries, spoofed senders and such. For only $ 24 per year, I can add as many domains as I want and am very happy with the service. They have DKIM, SPF, and DNSBL. I am not a technical person but those three guys definitely help to limit spam. Most spoofed addresses fail the SPF check.
If for some hard to understand reason you feel professional email service is not worth $ 24 here are some other options:
It´s a bit of extra work for a week or so - but it pays off.
Two sites/tools helped me cleaning up: www.spamcop.net and Mail Sentry, an extension that is available with most professional email systems as well as the free "Thunderbird".
SpamCop sends automated spam (abuse) reports to the real admins of the network the messages originates from. It´s a free service, but you can volunteer to pay for a membership. You will have to extract and copy the header of the email to the SpamCop online form. Some spammers have found a way to trick SpamCop.
The Mail Sentry extension adds a "report spam" button to your email client. It is a paid service that is specialized on network security. They are mainly targeting enterprises. But as I mentioned you can use their free extension to report spam.
In the rare case that you see a spammer again after 48 hours, you will notice that he switched to another email service.
It is very effective.
If more people knew how to report spam and fewer people would click the links our lives as bloggers and online marketers sure would be easier.
I was not very happy with solutions like spamarrest (basically you have to compromise security to be able to use it) but I found an inexpensive (you can say free ... 0.25 cent per email address per month) very comprehensive solution: MxGuarddog
I hope you will have as much success as I had with these tips and enjoy a mostly spam free mailbox (:
Thank you for reading.
P.S.: Depending on how mad you are at spammers: If you want to be an (effective) jerk: many spammers market links to affiliate programs in countries like the US. They probably are not even happy if unsolicited emails are being sent with their links.
Trying to market for instance Wealthy Affiliate (a totally real and legit Learning Community with an affiliate program) will get you blocked on MailChimp (the emailer I am using).
Spammers are not just bad for us online businesses and bloggers - they also harm the vendors. So if you´re really mad - knock yourself off and let the vendors know.