What is Spam Anyway?

Written by Richard Lowe

I've found when people discuss spam they really have no idea what they are talking about. There are as many different definitions of spam as there are people. In point of fact, this factor alone (not being able to define what spam is and what it consists of) makes it virtually impossible to control.

In order to control spam, a useful definition is necessary. Why? Simple. In order to control something, you must know what you are controlling. When you understandrepparttar basic facts, then you can take whatever course of action is necessary. Until you achieve that understanding, you will be shooting blindly at an undefined target. This makes it very difficult to actually do anything useful.

So on that note, what kind of definitions for spam work and don't work?

Commonly spam is defined as unsolicited email. Unfortunately, this definition by itself is NOT spam and means absolutely nothing. What's wrong with it? This definition does not help you solverepparttar 132735 problem, and thus is incorrect. If this definition was true, then to prevent spam you would have to somehow contact a person to ask them if you could send them an email.

For example, I don't generally call someone onrepparttar 132736 phone and ask them for an email message. That would be silly. In fact, by definition most email is unsolicited; I don't, for example, expect my wife or a friend to ask me if it's okay to send me a message.

Sometimes spam is defined as emails that are from unknown sources. Hmm. This really doesn't work well either. I'll get emails from my website from people I don't know - these are not spam. Also, sometimes my friends will pass my email address to their friends, who send me email. These are also not spam, even though they were from an unknown source and were unsolicited.

How about just plain annoying emails? That seems to berepparttar 132737 definition that most people have in mind when they mention spam. Ifrepparttar 132738 email is annoying in some manner, and especially if it was unsolicited, it is spam. This definition probably gets a little closer torepparttar 132739 heart ofrepparttar 132740 matter, but it really doesn't define spam well.

What about unsolicited bulk email? This definition gets a little bit closer but it still doesn't really define spam well. I mean I give my email address to my bank and I really didn't ask them to send me emails (although I didn't ask them not to as well). Yet I would not call this spam as I do business with repparttar 132741 bank. Their emails might be annoying, but since I have a business relationship withrepparttar 132742 bank I expect them to communicate with me occasionally.

Okay, so what is spam?

I like to think of spam as "unethical mass email". By this I mean emails which violaterepparttar 132743 netiquette standards ofrepparttar 132744 majority of users ofrepparttar 132745 internet.

Note that by this definition, an individual email sent to a person is not spam. A commercial email, however, is another matter. Even a single commercial email might be unethical if it does not followrepparttar 132746 rules below.

Ethical emails are targeted well towards their audience. Unethical emails are mass mailings sent out blindly to a large number of people.

These are emails that are sent to thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of people, hoping against hope that a few dozen will be stupid or greedy enough to respond. These emails are untargeted and will not pertain torepparttar 132747 majority ofrepparttar 132748 recipients. Sincerepparttar 132749 majority ofrepparttar 132750 people readingrepparttar 132751 message (usually upwards of 99%) will simply delete it immediately, this makesrepparttar 132752 mailing unethical.

Ethical email messages include valid email header information. This information properly identifiesrepparttar 132753 sender ofrepparttar 132754 message. In addition, all ofrepparttar 132755 other header data inrepparttar 132756 message is correct.

Is Your Ezine Being Zapped?

Written by Michael Southon

About a year ago I wrote an article titled 'Winning The War On Sp^m'. Unfortunately,repparttar war on sp^m is not being won at all.

In fact,repparttar 132732 problem is now so serious that sp^am is shaping up to berepparttar 132733 greatest threat to online marketing.

The threat comes not from sp^mmers themselves, but fromrepparttar 132734 filters that are being used to block them.

These filters are hitting hard atrepparttar 132735 very core of ecommerce - Ezine Publishing.

Anti-sp^m filters operate at two levels: (i) client-side programs that reside on individual computers and (ii) server-side programs that ISPs are using to block incoming sp^m.

The problem is thatrepparttar 132736 filters are now so sensitive they are blocking evenrepparttar 132737 most innocent of Newsletters.

For example, if your Newsletter containsrepparttar 132738 words 'remove', 'unsubscribe' or 'click here' it will trigger anti-sp^m filters in many ofrepparttar 132739 programs that are now being used by ISPs.

The result?

Your Ezine is zapped, deleted - and a large percentage of your subscribers will think you have stopped publishing your Newsletter.

What can you do about it?

Here are some tips to avoid sp^m filters:

(1) Post your Newsletter online and then email your subscribers to tell them thatrepparttar 132740 latest issue is now available online.

(2) In your Newsletter carefully avoid (both inrepparttar 132741 subject line andrepparttar 132742 body text) all words that are likely to trigger anti-sp^m filters. Userepparttar 132743 free service listed atrepparttar 132744 end of this article - it will flag any words in your Newsletter that trigger anti-sp^m filters.

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