Staying two steps ahead of…..SPAMtraps!
E-mails are like eyeballs and most marketers treat it likewise with one essential difference. Eyeballs catch whatever is in front of them ie., in public domain whereas e-mails are eyeballs in the private domain. The former does not need an express permission from the viewer to engage. The latter, does and gives rise to issues of unsolicited messages.
SPAM as these unsolicited messages are termed, are a nuisance, an irritant which in addition bring in the issue of security as they may carry malicious software which snoop on your activity and contents of your gadget. If not checked, they can swamp your inbox and cause problems in myriad ways.
ISP, ESP and similar e-mail related bodies have over time brought in the concept of filters which are crafty software with algorithms which can filter out such messages and in most cases stop them from entering your inbox. Security features in gadgets too have added to this process of filtering.
With a view to nip the problem in the bud, ISPs, ESPs and the like have developed a rather simple technique to identity spammers and impose restraints. These are called Spam Traps. Like traps put in place by hunters to restrain animals, these too are hidden from plain view and help trap the wrong-does. The hitch though is that not too often these traps end-up trapping genuine marketers who have strayed onto the path of these traps inadvertently.
As a marketer, one has the responsibility not to disturb anyone deemed to be a client or a potential. These days doing so, even inadvertently can invites the ire of the ISPs, ESPs and even the law of the land. In some cases the outcome can be catastrophic ranging from a fine to permanent blacklisting.
Mentioned below are some ways by which Marketers can avoid falling into this trap.
- Create your own mailing lists to the extent possible. Where it seems impossible, go ONLY for a reputed provider who assures data quality and updates. NEVER buy lists from an unconfirmed source.
- Once list is in place do the following:
B. Where they do not reply to your regular mails, take them off the list ie prune your lists. Only send to those who engage with you. "Rules of engagement" with the subscriber should be clearly defined.
C. Monitor the content and post a requisite reply. Where the subscriber wishes to change personal details, do the needful immediately.
- For new subscribers use opt-ins or double opt-ins to have confirmed e-mail IDs. To avoid bots, use captchas and multiple ones where required of reasonable strength. After their subscription is processed, send them a welcome message with your contact details.
- For subscribers who want to opt-out, have a unsubscribe option visible, ready and responding. For more information on unsubscribe, see And they lived happily ever after…….by unsubscribing!