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E-Marketing Performance Blog

The Next Generation Spam Blocker

spam (spm)
n. Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.

We all hate spam, don’t we? Nothing slows up your morning like having to sort through hundreds of junk emails, just to find the handful that are of a genuine business nature. Thank God for commercially available spam blockers like cloudmark, that will sort through your email as it’s being downloaded and remove all the junk for you. Most web servers also allow you to set your spam settings to one of several levels of strictness and remove or mark email as spam for you. Spam sucks, but life is good when you have a good spam blocker.

There are two things I don’t understand about email spam, 1) why people complain about it when there are a host of spam blockers available for cheap or free? and 2) why some feel the government should get involved in regulating spam when there are a host of spam blockers available for cheap or free? The only real problem I see with spam, other than the minor annoyance of it, is the fact that we don’t have more spam blockers for other things.

Spam Blockers for Life Outside of Email:

Telephone Spam: I guess you could say that the government’s “Do Not Call” list is a spam blocker for the phone, but there was another telephone spam blocker available long before that came along. It’s called Caller ID. That’s right, if you know who’s calling, you can decide whether to even pick up the phone in the first place. What do you do about telemarketing firms that block their numbers? Don’t pick up the phone! Who says that I have to answer my phone? Will I miss any important calls? Not likely because I have another telephone spam blocker called an answering machine which allows me to screen calls. What great spam protection!

The business telephone works a bit different because many companies cannot add caller ID to their systems, nor can they screen their calls with an answering machine. Short of that, you don’t want to ignore calls just because you don’t know the source, as they will cause a loss of business or result in unhappy customers. This is where I’m happy with the government’s “Do Not Call” list. I don’t see any other viable options here, so let’s give three cheers to government intrusion!

Postal Spam: Why doesn’t anybody complain about postal spam and how can I opt out of it? Credit card offers, realtors trying to get me to sell my house, grocery store coupons that I’ll never use, and let’s not forget all the advertisements included in the envelope with my bills! Why can’t we get a spam blocker for this?

Fax Spam: If you have ever published your fax number someplace, you probably get one or more pieces of fax spam every day. Fax spam is far worse than email spam because not only does it use up my time, but it also uses my resources. Ink/Toner, paper, wear and tear on the machine. What right do these people have to use MY resources for their garbage? I’ve added my fax number to the government’s “Do Not Call” list but to no avail! It’s time to end fax spam now!

Resume Spam: There is another kind of spam, and anybody who has ever posted a job opening has undoubtedly received quite of few of these either via email, phone or walk ins. It’s resumes from people who don’t read the job requirements first. I’m not quite sure I understand how this kind of spam happens, but with each job posting we inevitably get dozens of emails from unqualified or over qualified candidates, neither of which read the actual job description. On the one side, your job ad says that knowledge or experience in such and such is a must, then resumes come in from people that have no such knowledge or experience. On the other side your job ad says something like “entry level” and people with Bachelors Degrees apply, when they know they wouldn’t even take the job if you tried to give it to them. Fax spam is a strange beast, and one that continually perplexes me.

Fast Lane Spam: This is probably the most frustrating form of spam; people who go slow in the fast lane and make you pass them in the right lane, if traffic allows. In my experience this form of spam is most common in California, but Nevada has its fair share of fast lane spammers as well. The worst of these spammers are those that suddenly get offended when you try to go around them on the right and they speed up so you can’t pass. What’s with that? Is their ego going to be so bruised if they get passed? Personally I think it’s their own recognition that they should not be in the fast lane in the first place; and getting passed on the right is clear evidence of their discretion, which they try to cover by speeding up. Cops should be our spam blockers here but unfortunately they don’t seem to care about his kind of spam… instead targeting speeder spam.

These are just a few areas where the next generation of spam blockers is needed. Got any more ideas for a daily life spam blocker?

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

One Response to The Next Generation Spam Blocker

  1. Wendy Syme says:

    Re: Spam (Fax and email)
    I work for a company which provides a mode of delivery for email and fax marketing. We do try to provide responsible messaging by sharing our “do not fax/call” lists as we understand the frustration for recipients who do not want to receive this material, however it is a very cost-effective means for clients to advertise when television, radio or press is unaffordable – there is also a response rate which can’t be ignored and has proven to provide a very lucrative outcome for our clients.

    There appears to be more consumers who purchase from fax/email marketing than those who request removal from marketing databases. As long as there is a market for this advertising medium, then it will continue to be used and even abused in some cases. The best way to manage the situation and not frustrate people who have no interest in receiving marketing material, is to share “stop lists” and ensure that the market is not over saturated.