VerticalResponse Blog

Recently I received an unsolicited email from a non-named company. Not a great start to an e-relationship with this company.

From: Cathy
Subject: Requesting a quick 15 Minutes Conference Call

I didn’t recognize the name, nor did I recognize the domain of the email address “”. When I even go to the site it’s not really live.

Then I open the email, because I have to see what it’s all about. The opening line is: “My name is Cathy Simpson and I am with the online marketing division.” So I think, online marketing division of what company? Who is this person? Why does she want to set up a meeting?

The email goes on to read: “I came across your company website and found that we have a potential customer list who might be interested in your products or services.” Ok, I’ll keep reading because as a small business owner, I’m always on the lookout for someone who wants to do business with us. Not surprisingly, I was SCAMMED. They went on to talk about all of the spam lists they have to sell me, not once coming back to what may have drawn me in, which was the potential for them to give us business, quite the opposite!

I now want to unsubscribe, so I scroll to the bottom of the email to find a line that I can barely read in light powder blue: “We respect your privacy. If you want to stop receiving emails from us, please send a reply with the email subject line as “Leave out”.”

Plus there is no postal address which is against the CAN-SPAM Federal Legislation.

All in all, a terrible email marketing experience for the recipient. Here are things to keep in mind to avoid this:

  1. Avoid “tricking” people into reading your emails, it’s not good business and it makes for a sour taste for your recipients.
  2. Use your company name instead of a bogus title like “online marketing manager”.
  3. Use your postal address so people know where to find you.
  4. Make your unsubscribe message easy to read and easy to react to.

Here’s the email:

SPAM Email
Have you had any experience like this?

© 2010 – 2012, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

  • Rodrigo

    Hello .. Good evening!

    I need health insurance leads to São Paulo BR DDD 11 PF and SMEs, you meet?

  • Gregory McGuire

    Hi Janine,
    I have to agree with Jay. If you respond to emails like this in any way, you’re letting them know there’s a live human being attached to the email address they have on file, which may result in lots more where that one came from.
    Awesome information. Thanks for sharing!

  • Calvin Pierce

    “Division of what??” is exactly what I thought. IMHO it’s a division of SPAM Inc., lol. *Nobody* has an opt-in list of 40 million, 80 million or 800 million as claimed. Spammers always try to sell their lists as “opt-in,” it’s the oldest scam around. They are harvesting addresses from websites. And yes, definitely do not try to “opt out” from these jokers’ list because they are strictly criminals, IMHO.

  • JDM Marketing Evolved

    Wow. “Poor” is putting it lightly.
    Funny enough, the only thing I would add to your suggestions list would be Opt-In.
    Email marketing is rarely an effective way of setting up meetings with cold prospects.
    Instead, I’d recommend building an Opt-in list and providing value (usually in the way of content).
    Once the list has been nurtured, then you can ask for the meeting.
    Hey, you might want to get to know someone a little before you ask them to dinner…

  • Carolyn Higgins

    Great blog, I hope it helps people to understand email marketing and the CAN-SPAM laws a bit better. I too have been suckered into opening and reading emails like these – and it frustrates me!
    I got one recently from someone I met at a networking event somewhere (I don’t remember him). First, he listed the entire recipient list in the “To” line so we could all see who was getting the email, and then it went on to say, “Dear colleague, You are getting this because we met at some point in time at some event or we may have done business togeter. I am writing, because as a marketing expert…” STOP – a marketing expert? With an email that looks like this? Ok- this person’s credibility went out the window immediately and it got spammed.
    Thanks for this article, I hope it will help companies realize that there really is a right and a wrong way to do email marketing.
    -Carolyn Higgins
    Fortune Marketing

  • Mark McClure

    Hey Janine,
    Well, it certainly looks like a spammer in action. And if ‘Cathy’ is legit she and her ‘company’ could do with some lessons in lead generation. Unsolicited email of that ilk is asking for trouble.
    Most likely they build a list of people who respond to this email and sell those addresses on as active. Rinse and repeat…
    Interestingly, the telephone number given at the bottom is a ‘prime’ number 🙂

  • Jay Chambers

    I believe ignoring blatent spam messages is the best thing you can do.
    If you try to unsubscribe, this confirms you are a live email add. And your address can be sold on!
    Kind regards,

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