There are two types of email list cleaning: Validation & Verification. Validation removes threats while verification removes bounces. This article will break down the difference and tach you the importance of which you should use before you spend funds on something that you didn’t want or need. There is a huge difference between the two and our industry doesn’t really break it down like it should. Most likely because if you purchased validation to remove bounces, you will be quite disappointed.
Quickie Marketing, Inc. is thrilled to announce the launch of Verify550.com, the world’s most thorough email list hygiene platform using validation and verification combined to remove syntax errors, bounces and deliverability threats like informants, litigators, bots, disposables, roles and seeds. The official launch date for Verify550.com is November 13, 2017.
Industry Terms for Email List Hygiene Part 2
Email abuse fighters use all kinds methods to catch illegal activity. One way to find spammers is to set honeypots. A honeypot is a mechanism used to detect, deflect, or counteract attempts at spam. According to Wikipedia, “Honeypot(s) can reveal the apparent IP address of the abuse and provide bulk spam capture (which enables operators to determine spammers’ URLs and response mechanisms). For open relay honeypots, it is possible to determine the e-mail addresses (“dropboxes”) spammers use as targets for their test messages, which are the tool they use to detect open relays. It is then simple to deceive the spammer: transmit any illicit relay e-mail received addressed to that dropbox e-mail address. That tells the spammer the honeypot is a genuine abusable open relay, and they often respond by sending large quantities of relay spam to that honeypot, which stops it. The apparent source may be another abused system—spammers and other abusers may use a chain of abused systems to make detection of the original starting point of the abuse traffic difficult.” This term, however, doesn’t fit the actual activity. Maybe the word “Radar” would be a better fit. We will see.
Email abuse fighters do not like this word. If you are an email marketer or list hygiene company and state that you remove traps, it upsets the fighters. Not because of the actual word, but rather, removing their work, or eye on the sky. Some fighters create bots that fill out any form page it can find and match the domain to any email that comes from it. If the domain doesn’t match when they receive an email, then the fighter is alerted and takes procedures. Fighters also hide email addresses behind websites that are simply not visible and can only be found if a spider or harvest program pulls it out. The term “trap” most definitely addresses this type of situation, but using that word causes issues. Fighters will not say that they set traps so why are we calling them traps? In their minds, why call them traps if you’re spamming illegally? This is a term coined by emailers and it should be changed. A better word for trap would be “decoy” or “bait” or “seeds”.
Seeds are emails that are being monitored for one reason or another. Emailers use seeds to send their advertisement to before they deploy to their entire list. This is to find out if the advertisement in itself appears “spammy”. All email marketers do this regardless of optin or not. Since there are over 30,000 ISP’s worldwide and each one has a different way of tracking inbound email, you simply are not going to get your message delivered to all networks. Some seeds would be considered bait. Like traps above, fighters set seeds inside real optin email lists to monitor if an email marketer sold or traded their email list to a second/third party. This way, they can justify illegal activity. This term doesn’t match up if a seed was planted on a list secretly with a false name to be monitored for illegal activity. Informant would be a better term.
Fighters come in all different shapes, forms and sizes. They all have an opinion and do not all agree on everything. Labeling an abuse fighter as an anti doesn’t qualify logical thinking. There are some types of antispammers who actually work directly with email marketers to help them clean up their act. Would they be considered an “anti” if they work with a bulk emailer? The term email abuse fighter works well here. Most fighters do not hate bulk email marketing. They just hate unsolicited spam clogging up their servers and network bandwidth. Honestly, the less spam that comes in, the more room for their customers to work, surf and play. Abusing their networks creates animosity towards the perpetrator and an act of retaliation. Abuse fighters are just like you. If you understand their circumstances, then perhaps you would think twice about the way you mail.
Industry Terms for Email List Hygiene Part 1
There are industry terms for email list hygiene that needs to be addressed for the sake of professionalism. Being politically correct has its advantages and disadvantages. However, being politically correct for hygiene is definitely an advantage and it needs to be addressed now. Some of the words are harsh and incorrect and that needs to change. Let’s examine some of these words.
This term “screamers” comes directly from email marketers talking about people (possible victim) who believe they received spam. This term has been around since at least 2003 and doesn’t quite accurately represent the actual term. Over the years, as laws have changed, people either understand the law or they don’t. If a consumer contacts an email marketer and screams at them, it would be safe to say that there is a reason why they are angry. The reason (probably) is that they feel they have received something they did not ask for. The consumer could have mistaken the offense by not remembering signing up to something, but whatever the reason, the term doesn’t truly fit the bill. The word “protestor” makes more sense. The reason is, the victim may not be a victim at all legally, however, they feel that they have been victimized and have every right to protest regardless of what law has been broken, or not. Calling them “screamers” is labeling all people upset at receiving what they perceive as spam as ones who will yell at the plaintiff.
Close to the term screamers, yet sounding less harsh, the term “complainers” again doesn’t paint a politically correct picture. If someone perceives to receive an email from a plaintiff that they feel was not optin or gave permission, they most certainly will complain to someone. Who, you ask? Their local ISP, their upstream, the email service provider or directly to the person who hit the “send” button. This term derives from someone who knows how to get around the red tape and contact the right people to complain to. Complainers most certainly are not your average consumer, rather most likely someone who understands technology and the workings of. This term should fall gain directly to “Protestors”. Reason being is since we do not understand the situation legally, one cannot label someone a complainer without proper evidence of wrong-doing. Not only that, just because someone complained doesn’t mean they are right or you are right.
Make no mistake, there are people, groups, companies and organizations who fight unsolicited bulk email. Without these people, email in itself would no longer exist as when a spammer gets a hold of an email, it’s all over for privacy. Fighters are important and they do what is necessary to find and catch spammers. In short, spammers are ones who do not follow the law, rather exploit email addresses. This type of business practice would be considered mob-like mentality and doesn’t follow the order of things. Spam, sending an email to someone who didn’t ask for it, is wrong and should be avoided as a business practice. Because spammers have abused this privilege, fighters have grown more aggressive in their approach. The term spam fighters sounds harmless, but labels a certain type of email marketing. Not only do they fight spammers, they also fight what they feel is spam when the opposite party does not. A better term for these individuals or groups would be “Email Abuse Fighters”.
Click here for Part 2.
3 Types of Email Marketing
There are 3 types of email marketing and it’s important to choose which one to use. Email marketing is still a great source for generating income and can take a start up to new heights. But before you start dreaming, take a look and consider the dangers involved in email marketing and what you should avoid at all cost. Amateurs will find out really quick that it’s not a game and there are severe consequences when pivoting in this direction. This article will talk about white, grey and black email marketing techniques that should give you a pretty good idea where you fall into.
Black Hat Email Marketing (label or listing)
I think it’s important to start off with the worst form of email marketing to discourage you from practicing it. We are an email list hygiene company who, according to several, claim we help spammers by cleaning up a dirty email list. This accusation is purely false and we want to address this right away. We help email marketers with old lists (their own optin lists) who are trying to get back into the email marketing scene. We discourage and frown upon anyone who abuses our system for spamming purposes.
That being said, the worst form of email marketing is black label. This is where advertisements are send unsolicited. There are dozens of ways this is being accomplished. Spammers will use bots, spiders or harvest programs to pull emails off websites and spam them. They trade, steal, buy, lease and sell lists back and forth for profit. Spammers will buy cheap servers, setup software quickly to send email in bulk and try to get as much messages out before the IP is blacklisted. Rinse, lather and repeat. The more the spammer does this, the more they build a list of people who do not mind their spam. This allows them to get away with making money.
Black label email marketing is responsible for 65% of all spam. That means that only 35% of all email traffic is legit! This hurts the email marketing world extremely because it discourages people from having an email address in the first place. Black label emailing is usually done in anonymity so finding the perpetrators can be difficult because they hide behind fake names and cards. If you have purchased, harvested or traded or sold email marketing lists, you could help enable the growing fight to remove email marketing altogether.
Consider your actions when you are sending email. If you are profitable but enabling spam, then you are ruining the future of this industry. 65% of all traffic is spam. Do you share in this percentage?
To be continued in Part 2.
3 Types of Email Marketing Part 2
Grey Hat Email Marketing (label or listing)
Although not illegal (some can/could argue this), grey hat email marketing is still frowned upon. The quickest way to grow a list is to send bulk email to unsolicited people (we are not condoning this behavior one bit). If the consumers were introduced to you before you send out an announcement, this would be better but still sending a mass email broadcast to people who did not ask for your information is wrong. Let me explain. Let’s say you know a company that sells paint brushes. They collected several thousand people who have purchased their brushes. You make them an offer to buy their list. You, yourself, sell paint. I am sure you can get the picture here. Basic grey hat email marketing is buying a subscriber list and mailing to it from another source.
Believe it or not, this type of gorilla style email marketing is part of the 65% I talked about in the last article. Grey listed email marketing is being argued worldwide by fighters and mailers if it should be legal or illegal. According to fighters, they call the Can Spam Act of 2003 the “You Can Spam Act” because the email marketer only needs to have a working unsubscribe and a real physical address one can request opt out information from. The reason this legislator leaned towards the email marketer instead of the fighter is because politicians rely heavily on email marketing and when this bill was introduced, they gave more air time to emailers than to network administrators.
Grey hat emailing will also get you blacklisted quickly. Requesting removal can be hard because the blacklist owner will want more than just a request, rather they would want evidence that this email address actually opted in to their own list. Many grey hat emailers bypass this by doing what black hat ones do. Get another server. Grey emailing is risky, costly and hurts resources like IP’s and domains. One should look at their email marketing procedures and compare their actions with black hat actions. If there are identical behaviors, then the mailer is doomed to fail. Mixing black hat with grey hat just simply will not work.
White Hat Email Marketing (label or listing)
White hat emailing is sending an email to someone who requested to be mailed to. The subscriber knows who you are and requested the information rather than bullied into it. White mailers go the extra mile and make sure that the subscriber realizes they actually signed up to receive their information by telling them so. This form of mailing is called double optin or verification/confirmation. When a white hat email marketer sends anything to this list of confirmed subscribers, there should not be any bots, scams or fake subscribers. Fighters will let go of the monitoring of an email marketer if the emailer sends them a confirmation email. Although, some fighters perhaps go to the extra mile to monitor, it seems to be pretty rare. White hat subscriber lists are small and extremely responsive. Grey emailers are looking for these types of lists to grow their own.
Bottom line, white hat emailing is the preferred way to go. However, if you neglect to mail to your list over a period of time, you run the risk of running into bounces, bots and informants. Fighters purchase expired domains and activate the mail exchange to see if anyone is abusing. If your list is large and old, your service provider will definitely shut you down until you clean it. That is where we come in.