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You opted in

One thing I get in some of the comments here and in some of the discussions I have with email senders is that no commercial emailer ever sends unsolicited email. That, clearly, at some point the recipient opted in to receive mail and if that person doesn’t want mail they shouldn’t ever give out their email address.
I have an old yahoo address that’s used primarily as my Flickr account login. I don’t believe I’ve ever given out the address to anyone or opted in to anything. Anything’s possible, this address was created sometime in 2006 or 2007 and I may have tossed it into a form to test something. It’s certainly not an address I ever actually use.
Earlier this week I checked mail on the account. There were almost 700 messages in there. It was pretty amazing how much garbage this unused, unshared address collected. Notice the “clever” use of foreign alphabets and the number of legitimate companies who have acquired this address or hired people to mail me on their behalf. I’m sure some of it is phishing, too.

Inbox picture

And this is the view from behind some very aggressive filters.


All in all, though, this is a prime example of how many companies are not following best practices and are actively sending spam.

1 comment

  1. Jay says

    My friend recommended this blog to me and I find this post interesting since I just got off the phone this morning with my cell phone provider to block SMS texts and emails from companies that engage in this sort of thing – and charge the unwitting consumer for receiving the text ($9.95 per solicitation in my case this morning).
    What I learned from them… Its all in the fine print!
    Apparently, making a purchase, signing up for newsletters, or even connecting via social media such as liking some pages on Facebook, apparently comes with some fine legal print which states by submitting your information you agree to be contacted for promotions and offers. Furthermore, you agree to the original company/site releasing your information to their partners for similar use. Then there are always the sites who sell your contact info in lead generation lists to anyone willing to pay the fee.
    And so the spam starts to pile up by the hundreds.
    The only solution I have come up with so far is keeping a seperate email address – a hotmail account – that I use for most online purchasing and other things in conjunction with the hosts spam blocker. My personal and professional email accounts remain relatively clutter free.

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