Don't do this


I recently received an email from someone I do not know. This email was welcoming me to the friends and family beta of a new website. This email got under my skin a bit and it has been one of those weeks and so I decided to reply to the email.
“Whomever sold you this email address lied to you,” says I. I did not point out all the reasons I know this, including the two addresses in the To: line next to mine, just stated that as a fact.
The sender replied telling me he did not purchase any email addresses, he just mailed the contents of his address book. At that point, I did a little poking around the web to see if I recognized the sender or we had worked together in the past or if there was a clear join between him and me. I could not find anything that triggered a memory in my mind, so I replied again. “Do you know where we met? I am not placing you.”
He finally replied, “Oh, you’re in my address book under Spamhaus. We must have interacted while you were working there.”
Please, please, dear readers, when you next launch your online business do not mail everyone in the address book you have been maintaining for the last 10 years. If you want to mail your friends and family, then do so. But just because you have an email address does not mean that the recipient wants to hear from you. And, really, mailing the folks you think work for Spamhaus? Not smart. Had I really been a Spamhaus employee, chances are his bright, shiny new company would be blocklisted before it ever had a chance.

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  • Funny – I ran into a similar experience not to long ago for someone selling exercise equipment from Florida – I live in Ontario about 1355 miles (2,180.6 kilometers) away.
    The excuse… I must have emailed you or bought from you (or my kids did) at one time and you ended up in my address book which I uploaded and emailed this great offer to. Quick archive search… Nope nothing at the published website contact (aka. distribution list) email address.
    You must have harvested or purchased a list with my addresses – FAIL.

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