The Future of E-mail Marketing
By Denny Hatch
I am the proprietor of a funky little Web site, www.methodmarketing.com. It is my professional business card—a site for direct marketers to download some useful checklists and find a good bibliography of direct marketing books (including my own). When someone calls about the possibility of my writing copy or doing consulting, rather than go through all the hassle of putting together an elaborate kit and mailing it out, I invite them to visit the Web site to see how I work.
Here is an e-mail I received on August 14:
Undeliverable mail-- "welcome to my hometown."
The following mail can't be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Subject: welcome to my hometown
I do not use the Web site to sell anything online. I do not use it for any kind of outgoing messages. So why was I getting this bounceback e-mail? I e-mailed the company that hosts methodmarketing.com, along with my other Web sites, and here was the reply:
What you are experiencing is called spoofing. What happens is a Spammer creates an e-mail with a false address (in this case he seems to have gotten ahold of yours). He then adds his legitimate address at the bottom of the message as a "reply to" address before sending out his thousands of e-mails to generic e-mail addresses. Because his sending address is "spoofed" and not his, he doesn't have to worry about all the returns that will come back, and all the legitimate customers will reply to the real address at the bottom… We cannot do anything about this because we can't control what people use as an e-mail address. If an e-mail comes in to our servers with a legitimate username, we allow it to pass. The only thing for you to really do at this point is wait. Spammers rarely use the same address twice for fear of being caught, so after a few days the return mails should stop…