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The eMarketing Digest
© 1996 - 2008
Library of Congress
ISSN 1522-6913

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                     The E-Marketing Digest
                      Volume #2, Issue #5
                         May 14, 1997
                    Gary K. Foote, Moderator


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Table of Contents

+ Moderator Comments


+ New Subjects

    "Opt-in targeted direct mail"
        - Susan Mathiesen

    "Earmarks of spam"
        - Mika

    "Anti-spam strategies"
        - Peter Morgan

+ Ongoing

    "Frank Wiley's introduction"
        - Gary K. Foote

    "The definition of spam"
        - Claudia Hafling

    "Multiple spammers, one domain"
        - Paul Schilling

+ The Corkboard

+ Miscellaneous


                       Moderator Comments

Well folks,

It seems we have made a great deal of progress with our definition of
'spam'.  Getting this nailed down firmly has been the first step in
understandinging just what *is* considered ethical e-mail marketing
practice, by defining just what is *not* acceptable.

Yesterday's Digest seemed to mark some kind of collective feeling
that the end of the discussion on spam should be at hand and we should
now get down to the *real* job, working out how to ethically market
your products or services by using e-mail.  I must have a half dozen
posts saying, in effect, "let's move on".  So, to that end...

This will be the last issue to devote much space to the discussion on
the definition of spam.  If you have further comments on this topic
feel free to post them to the regular address.  I will compile them
into a single definition based on everyone's input and post them here,
as well as on the E-Marketing website, this Friday.

I have also decided to change the starting date of my upcoming
multi-part series, "Ethical, Proactive Direct Marketing by E-mail".
PART I will begin this Friday, instead of the following Monday.  The
series will cover the following;


 AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
 Preparing 1st Contact Materials


 Writing The Sales Letter
 Autoresponders - Your 24 Hour Storefront


 Targeting your Market
 Individual e-mail Only Please
 Newsgroup & Mailing List Postings


 Follow up Contacts
 Tracking Your Results
 Repeating your success
 In Closing

Comments, additions, criticism, etc., will all be welcome during the
run of this series.  We all need you input...  after all, if you
believe everything I write, you'll be wrong as often as I am. 


                          New Subjects

From: "Susan Mathiesen" 
Subject: Opt-in Targeted Direct Mail

Julie Frost wrote:

>>Well, let me pose this question in regards to Spam: Why aren't more
>>using the opt-in lists? To me this is a perfect solution. I am on a few
>>PostMaster Directs' opt-in lists, and even if I don't actually buy
>>from the ads, they are highly targeted to my interests, and I actually
>>*enjoy* getting them!

I am very pleased that Julie has brought up the subject of opt-in lists
like PostMaster Direct.  I have also opted in some of these lists and
believe they provide a good service.

As an online marketer, I have been considering using one of these services
for some time, but I still see a fair number of critical comments about
them in other discussion groups, so I have not yet jumped in.  I (and the
business opportunity that I currently represent) am very anti-spam and I
am only willing to advertise in a net-acceptable way.  Can I be absolutely
sure that I will not be accused of spam if I purchase these services?

I am currently considering PostMaster Direct and Web Themes.  Do any other
online marketers have experience with these?  Thanks to the participants
and moderator for any advice.

And thank you Gary for this forum!  I look forward to a fruitful exchange
of information.

Susan Mathiesen

Build a residual income from placing FREE ads online.
Send any message to or
visit for details.

                        *** NEXT POST ***

From: Mika 
Subject: Earmarking spam


One of the features that sets spam apart from other mailings is the tone
of the messages that they send. Overuse of all caps and exclamation
marks is more than just a pet peeve; it makes even target mailings look
like spam.

The keyword here is "targeted". Offline, database marketing is the
upscale version of direct mail. Online, you have to give up the idea of
direct mailings, and concentrate on database marketing - finding your
best customers and marketing to them. I don't think small businesses
need to give up on the idea of marketing with email, I just think we
have to work smarter.

Forget the idea of a singular mailing list, and think instead of
multiple lists. If you use a group mail program, find one that
personalizes the mail that you send.

Do test runs first: if you can send out mail to a small group of 100
without getting flamed, you're in the right direction. If you don't get
a good response, change your pitch till you get it right. Keep testing
and tracking.

Assume your recipients are intelligent, and will understand the
opportunity. Don't use all caps or multiple exclamation marks.

Don't promise to remove the recipient from your list unless you mean it.
Remove bounced mail addresses from your database and mailing lists. Keep
customers that you've corresponded with in a separate mailing list.

Does anyone have anything to add to this list?

easyBASE - The big business manager for small business

                        *** NEXT POST ***

From: Morgan Newsletters Peter Morgan 
Subject: Anti-Spam strategies

I have been using two methods for reducing the amount of unwanted
e-marketing material in my in-box, more as an experiment in usefulness than
anything. I'd be interested to hear other list member's ideas for handling
it by rote.

My theory is that seeing spam is like seeing a prostitute on a stroll. I
know one when I see one, but trying to define it without encompassing
regular (even welcome!) activities is a lesson in frustration. The only
actions I can control for sure are mine and those of my computer; hence
everything I'm discussing here is under my direct control.

The first method of dealing with spam is short-term. I used to be with one
service provider but switched about two years ago. Since then the original
ISP left my old mailbox active on its system but automatically bounced
anything received there to my 'new' address.

I have noticed, intriguingly, that of late, about 60% to 70% of unwanted
e-mail has been coming via that route and I've now taken steps to eliminate
that by simply asking the old ISP to close my old mail box.

The second step has been to examine the pathway the message took (which is
how I discovered the ISP-bounce problem) and teach my e-mail program
(Eudora Pro) to filter directly to trash any messages received from that
originating computer. The belief there is that the originating computer is
likely a mail-bot system that is or will be used by others and I am
probably killing a few other birds with the same filter, if not now then

I now have about half a dozen specific computer sites in that filter
mechanism, and my level of annoyance had dropped accordingly, since I never
see the messages in the first place. There is a minor caution here: ensure,
if you use this route, to get the originating computer site, not an
intermediate one, as you may well cut yourself off from all messages
traveling that particular road, and some of them could be quite useful. An
example would be selecting CompuServ's originating computer; not everything
that originates from there will be junk e-mail. The filter is set to look
for the computer ID number (which looks like this actual one:
in 'Any Header'. I haven't been doing this long enough (only about four or
five months) to determine whether it will be useful or whether the list of
filters will get unwieldly. But I figure that it's harder to set up an
originating node than it is to set up an e-mail reply name (though I have
some of those as well, and savetrees is a good example of one that's

I've also trained the filter mechanism to look for certain key character
sequences in Subject lines and in the body copy; I won't go into which ones
specifically since simply altering them defeats the filter (this year!),
but it won't take you long to figure those out on your own. Again, this is
a double-edged knife; you can easily eliminated a wanted message by not
cautiously selecting the character sequence.

It may be worthwhile having a proposed filter simply change the colour of
the incoming message's subject line for a while to ensure it's working only
on the intended messages, before directing it to automatically trash the

I tried setting up a filter to automatically send or rebound an unwanted
message back to the sender, but that usually just produced Internet mailbot
error messages since these people rarely allow direct response to the reply
site. Then I had to download and then delete the error messages as well as
waste time uploading the auto-response. Not worth it.

As regards posting to newsgroups: There's nothing wrong with altering your
own e-mail address with some extraneous characters, forcing the spammer to
deal with error bounces. It's etiquette, in such a case, to add a phrase in
human-readable form near the address noting which characters to delete to
make the address useable. Typically, I gather, troller software, which
gathers the e-mail addresses from newsgroups can't deal with this variable,
but human can quite easily.

Any other strategies worth pursuing? Comments on these ones?

Peter Morgan * Morgan:Newsletters * (604) 683-3241 * fx: (604) 683-7910
550-580 Hornby St. Vancouver, V6C 3B6, Canada *
Your e-mail is being returned to you due to insufficient voltage.


From:     Gary K. Foote, Moderator
Subject:  Re: Introduction

In yesterday's digest Frank Wiley wrote;

>However, I am looking for ways to promote and increase traffic
>to my site, possibly using email.  Any suggestions?

Frank - I've got a feeling you have come to the right place.  Our
current thread, "The definition of spam" will soon yield a good
set of guidelines for how *not* to promote with e-mail.  Once they
are defined, we will then be able to easily extrapolate how to
promote *ethically* by e-mail.


                        *** NEXT POST ***

From: Claudia Hafling  <102440.51@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Re: The E-Marketing Digest, V2, #4

I'm a new subscriber to this list, which I have found very
interesting so far.  However, after reading all of the talk about the
"definition" of spam, I am more confused than ever.

I am a professional publicist and marketer who is just getting her
feet wet in terms of the use of e-mail as a direct marketing tool.
From your definition of spam (any "unsolicited" e-mail), it sounds to
me like EVERYTHING is spam.

Using this definition, how can you use e-mail direct marketing without
it being spam?  If you send e-mail to ONE person, unsolicited (which
almost all direct mail is, along with other forms of advertising as AY
said), that is spam?

Okay, then how do I use direct marketing via e-mail at all???

As I said, I am confused.

Claudia L'Engle Hafling,
Media & Marketing Concepts, Inc.
  Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing

[Moderator's reply]

Hang in there, Claudia.  We'll be moving into the proactive end of
e-marketing post-haste.


                        *** NEXT POST ***

Subject: Re: The E-Marketing Digest, V2, #4

In regards to the comment posted by  Glenn Barry 

Not picking on Glenn but using his comment to illustrate a point.
I wanted to take a moment to clear up a common misconception.
There seem to be alot of folks out there that don't know the difference
between a screen name and a domain name.

The example Glenn used was that he had received multiple spam from and some of the e-mails had specified that they were one time
only messages. It is entirely possible that he  has received many different
messages from many different people on that particular DOMAIN. In essence
what I am saying is that if you receive multiple spam from 1 domain name
does not mean that it is from the same user.

His comment clearly indicates that he is only looking at the domain name and
not the screen name of the user. Many people can use the same domain name.
An example is with over 10 million users.

The other consideration is the sales of mailing lists. If 10 different
people buy a email address list from a broker and send their advertising
from the same domain or different domains you will recieve multiple emails.
This is a result of being on a master list that is being sold to many
different advertisers.

If you request to be removed, you will be removed only from the list owned
by the person that sent you that particular message. You will not be
removed from the other lists that have been sold.

One other factor is persons touting a business opportunity. As the size of
the business grows so does the number of ads that appear to be from the same
company .  In fact they are only advertising for that companys opportunity
or product and are being marketed by independant distributors. The
distributors are in competition for market share and start sending ads
that are similar in content. Since they may have purchased the same list
from the same broker so they can launch their own marketing campaign you
may get hit several times.  At first glance we get mad a say "that's the
10th time I got an ad from that *%*$*!" or I told them to remove me and
they didn't.

I think most email advertisers are courteous and do remove.......what we
cannot control is how many lists our names are on and how many different
people bought lists with our email address on it.

So when complaining about getting spam from the same person over and over or
thinking that nobody honors remove requests...consider the facts, and please
react with courtesy rather than disgust. Don't trash or flame them. The
person sending the ad may be just an individual sending for the first time
no smarter than you that is trying to make a living from home.

If you really want to help them and eliminate the problem, don't perpetuate
it by negative action, take the time instead and use it to educate them. You
will help the situation more this way and your blood pressure and stress
levels won't be so high.

Paul Schilling


                          The Corkboard



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