I just became aware of a trademark/branding issue that affects someone I know. I don’t know the guy well, by any means, but I know who he is, and I figured “Hey, I should probably let this guy know about this, just in case he’s interested.” So I went to his website, clicked through to his contact page (how about putting an email address in the footer?), noticed his email address wasn’t linked (annoying), so I had to copy and paste it (hence the annoying bit), sent an email off, and got an error back a minute later. Turns out the guy had included hidden characters in his code so that if a script were out there searching around for email addresses, it would copy the wrong email address and therefore this guy won’t get any spam. Unfortunately, he didn’t get that email from me, and although I was motivated enough to write this blog post about it, I’m not motivated enough to go back to his website, click through the contact page again, and then type in his email address.
It’s not as though this is the first time this has happened, which is why I’m frustrated enough to write this post. I’m also annoyed by people who put an email form on their contact page but don’t list phone numbers, email addresses, or other contact info. I’m especially annoyed if they don’t list an email address.
Yes, I know, if you just throw your email address all over the place then you’re going to get more spam, that’s just how it works. But you’ll also make it easier for people to contact you, and if you’re in the marketing industry, and especially if you’re selling yourself, do you really want to create barriers to spam to the point were the people you want to talk to don’t contact you either?
Another way to look at it is to ask yourself, how much money would somebody have to pay me to deal with the spam I would get if I didn’t protect my email address? What if you could land one $5,000 per deal per month, would that make it worth it? I don’t know about you, but I’d sort through a lot of spam to earn $5,000 per month.
And how much spam would you really get if you didn’t protect your email address, anyway? Well, let me tell you. I don’t have just one, I have somewhere around 30-40 email addresses, and they are all over the place. They’re posted on the 40-50 websites I own, they’re posted on other peoples’ blogs, they’re on websites that belong to other people, they’re on social media sites. I have purposely never protected my email address in order to make it easy for people to contact me, and after doing this for about 10 years, how much spam do I get? Quite a bit, but even with as much spam as I get, it’s manageable. Even if it took me an hour per day, it was worth it. But it’s not as though there are only two choices. There are tools to help you filter spam, you know.
I use AppRiver for my email and spam filtering. I guess some people have had bad experiences with them, but I never have. They give me full Exchange Server capabilities for about $10 per email address per month, and I’ve never seen spam filtering that works anywhere close to as well. It now takes me about 30 seconds per day to scan my spam, and I rarely get false positives. I mean it’s really rare, as in perhaps once per month. That’s because I’ve taken advantage of all their features to set up whitelists and such to make sure trusted senders get through to me.
But even without AppRiver, I still wouldn’t stop posting my email addresses all over the place. The pain of going through 800 spam messages per day simply isn’t bad enough for me to justify losing one deal per month.Liked it? Share it!