Tag: Spam

Are botnets really the spam problem?

Over the last few years I’ve been hearing some people claim that botnets are the real spam problem and that if you can find a sender then they’re not a problem. Much of this is said in the context of hating on Canada for passing a law that requires senders actually get permission before sending email. […]

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4 things spammers do legitimate marketers don’t

I’ve never met a spammer that claims to be a spammer. Most that I’ve met claim to be legitimate marketers (or high volume email deployers). But there are things spammers do that I never expect to see a legitimate marketer doing. I’ve written about these things throughout the blog (tag: TWSD), but it’s probably time […]


Don’t like opt-outs? Target your program better.

I get a LOT of spam here. Most of it is marked and trivial to get rid of. Some of it is what I would call semi-legitimate. It’s a real product, but I never asked to receive any information from this company and am not actually part of their demographic. For one time things I […]


CRTC fines Compu-Finder $1.1 million for CASL violations

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is the principle agency tasked with enforcing Canada’s anti-spam law. Today they issued a Notice of Violation to Compu-Finder  including a $1.1 million dollar fine for 4 violations of CASL. The violations include sending unsolicited email and having a non-working unsubscribe link. According to the CRTC, complaints about Compu-Finder accounted […]


Mary Litynski Award winner Jayne Hitchcock

This morning the Messaging, Mobile and Malware Anti-Abuse Working Group announced the winner of the Mary Litynski Award. Congratulations to Jayne Hitchcock of WHO@ for her work over the last 2 decades fighting online abuse and cyberstalking. I’ve never actually met Jayne, but I do remember following her story in the late 90s. She started […]

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January 2015 – The Month in Email

It’s February already! January went fast, right? At WttW, we are gearing up for MAAWG SF later this month — will we see you there? We started the year with a set of predictions about email. Mostly we think email will continue to be great at some things and not-so-great at other things, and we’ll […]

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Language as filtering criteria

A few months ago I was working on a delivery audit for a client who sends mail in multiple languages. We discovered that the language of an email has a significant delivery impact. The same email in different languages was delivered differently, particularly at Gmail. Emails in a language I don’t normally receive email in were […]


Dodging filters makes for effective spamming

Spam is still 80 – 90% of global email volume, depending on which study look at. Most of that spam doesn’t make it to the inbox; ISPs reject a lot of it during the SMTP transaction and put much of rest of it in the bulk folder. But as the volumes of spam have grown, ISPs […]

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December 2014: The month in email

2014 has been a busy and exciting year at Word to the Wise (look for more on that in a year-end wrap-up post next week!) and this month was particularly thrilling for us as we officially doubled our size with the addition of Josh and Meri on our client services team. If you’re a regular […]

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Spam is about invading other people’s space

At the recent Sendgrid Emailmatter’s conference Sally Lehman advised attendees to “Treat someone’s inbox like it was their home.” This is advice I’ve been giving clients for a long time. I think it’s even more relevant now as so many people have data enabled phones and are checking email so frequently. It’s not just their […]

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  • Lost in the mists of time

    Over on the Farsight Security blog Joe St. Sauver talks about some of the early days of online abuse, on usenet. Laura and I were on the periphery of early usenet abuse, mostly as users, but Usenet (and IRC) around then were the places we both started with email abuse.No Comments

  • Ongoing Yahoo delays

    I've been hearing from folks over the last few days that they're seeing an uptick in deferrals from Yahoo! The deferrals are not uniform. ESPs report they're seeing some, but not all, customers affected. Other ESPs aren't seeing any changes. It's not just you. But it would be very worthwhile to dig into engagement and other stats. It's possible this is a new normal at Yahoo! and they're tightening filters to catch mail that doesn't fit their standards but was previously difficult to filter.No Comments

  • AOL starts using Sender Score Certification

    Good news for Sender Score Certified IPs. Return Path recently announced that AOL has joined the list of ISPs offering preferential treatment to certified IPs.  1 Comment