“Help! I’m drowning in spam!”
“Wait, you’re a creative agency. Why are you addressing this?” Because several businesses and non profits have been asking us for help. They want targeted leads in their inbox, not a deluge of ads and scams. Junk email steals focus, slows down productivity, or worse, it opens the door to crippling malware and ransomware.
5 steps to reclaim your inbox
Click to expand each item.
1. CHOOSE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESSES WISELY
Avoid using common addresses such as info@, admin@, office@, support@, sales@, or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s probably a good idea to not use email@example.com either. Spammers know how popular those are and automate tons of offers to those addresses. Instead, use something like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. USE ADDRESSES STRATEGICALLY
Never share your work email address publicly like on your website, in online forums or on social media. Spammers scrape sites looking for mail links with the @ symbol and add those addresses to their lists.
Most of us never read the privacy policies or terms of service on websites. In exchange for their “free” services you unknowingly consent to sharing your email with other parties which will send you offers. Create yourself a dummy Gmail account to use when registering for online services relevant to your work. You can setup custom forwarding filters to send only messages from trusted domains to your real work email account.
If your email address has been publicized for years or was used to sign for up dozens of services it might be necessary to replace the address. Create a new one and keep the old one temporarily while you inform key customers and vendors of the change.
3. Train Your Inbox
Use features built into Gmail, Outlook or your email program to mark emails as spam or not spam. The program will keep applying those rules. We recommend doing that instead of hitting “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of spam emails because those links (with the exception of reputable companies) can be malicious or actually promote your verified address to other spam lists.
4. Use Third Party Spam Blockers
Take advantage of spam blocking technology offered by your web host. Many offer SpamExperts, Spam Hammer or Spam Assassin as a free perk of your hosting subscription. Some of those filters allow you to set how aggressive spam blocking should be and whitelist / blacklist individual senders or whole domains.
Your computer(s) should have security software installed. Those programs often have spam protection built in that you can configure as well.
5. UPGRADE YOUR WEBSITE CONTACT FORM(s)
Some WordPress plugins like Caldera Forms include an invisible form field only spambots will fill out which will automatically disqualify those submissions. You can also signup for a free Google RECAPTCHA account that verifies the submission is from a human. Either method should eliminate most contact form spam, however, a desperate salesperson can still fill out your form.
Other Ways Spam Impacts Your Business
Spammers also target your Google Analytics by getting their URLs in your results hoping you’ll click on them. Unchallenged, that can destroy any usefulness of your traffic data.
You may also send out marketing emails through services like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Be sure your email has a low spam score and complies with the federal CAN-SPAM Act to avoid fines and your domain being blacklisted.
We hate spam! We’ll help you…
- See if your web host offers free spam protection
- Upgrade your web form(s) to include anti-spam technology
- Replace email addresses if necessary
- Reduce spam results in your Google Analytics
- Help your own email campaigns avoid being marked as spam
Let’s Get Started
Or call 574.875.8525 – Monday – Friday, 8AM-5PM EST.