Sunday, March 22, 2009

This is Not Spam

When I was responsible for notifying the winners of the contests at 5 Minutes for Mom, I was very careful with my subject lines because of the spam filters.

For instance, I never used the following subject lines:

YOU WON!!!!!!!!!


Claim your $100 Visa Gift Card TODAY

Apparently I am smarter than the average spammer, because when I clear out my spam filter, it is full of subject lines just like that.

Even stranger to me is the "from" field. I'm glad that yahoo mail filter is smart enough to know that I have no friends or business contacts called !!!!NURSES NEEDED!!!!!

My real friends also are not in the regular process of postdating their emails by 30 years so that they will come to the top of my inbox.

Now that I've helped out the spammers with tips about what not to do, I'd like to extend some help for those of you (like me) who want to manage your spam.
  1. Don't assume that your spam filter is only filtering spam. I regularly check mine, and often find an offer from a publisher or a reply to a comment I left on another blog, or occasionally I find a note from a legitimately real person with whom I correspond.
  2. As stated, this doesn't always help, but be sure that you save the emails of the people you correspond with, including any websites where you regularly enter contests.
  3. My spam builds up quickly, so I check it often -- several times a day. It's much easier to glance at 9 emails in the spam box then delete them. Scrolling through 100 is a bit tougher, but I can immediately scroll down quickly through the post-dated ones, and stop when I get to the pre-dated ones as well. I find that up to half of them are these types, so I look a bit more closely at the ones in the middle.
  4. When checking spam, I look at the sender's name. Honestly, some of the subjects give me the heebie-jeebies (not the text -- just the subject!), so this makes the task much more pleasant.
I hope that this will help you, but if you do in fact have contacts in Nigeria from whom you regularly receive large money transfers, or if you are looking to get a college diploma or a government grant or prescription drugs from a questionable source -- well, knock yourself out with the spam.

Personally, I like my Spam pan-fried.


Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

Love your Spam post! I just had to leave a comment and let you know I always appreciate a full feed. That's why I never lose any weight, haha. :)

Carrie said...

This is a great post! I haven't checked my SPAM filter in awhile. Hmm.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Good tips! I'm not good about checking my spam folder, but I agree that looking at the "from" is much better than looking at the subject line. Ick.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Great ideas! For some reason gmail usually turns my spam from and subject lines into gobbledy-gook (yes, that's a technical term!) so I don't see what's there. I'm glad to miss the offers to um.. help my "condition" but wonder if they are covering over something I want.

I occasionally find real messages in the spam folder so I check it regularly. And as the person who now does the 5M4M giveaways I'm also careful about my subject lines. :)