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Ken Magill

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Roundup: CASL, Silverpop, What AdAge Really Thinks of Marketing, The Honey Pot Test

By Ken Magill
According to a blog post by Return Path’s Clea Moore, a bunch of people fell for my April Fools’ joke in which I claimed Canada was set to repeal its unbelievably idiotic anti-spam law.
Canada is not, I repeat not set to repeal its unbelievably idiotic anti-spam law. The unbelievable idiocy is still set to go into effect in July.
This year was the first year a Magill Report publishing day fell on April 1. I couldn’t resist. 
Shhhh… Someone Forgot to Tell IBM Email is Dead
As most Magill Report readers are no doubt aware by now, IBM has agreed to acquire marketing services provider Silverpop.
Check that: IBM is acquiring email service provider Silverpop. Yes, they don’t refer to themselves as an ESP. They offer so much more. But Silverpop started as an ESP and is still at core an ESP.
Apparently, unlike some in the media, particularly the tech press, IBM sees a bright future for email marketing.
Someone at AdAge Does Not Have a High Opinion of Marketers
AdAge published an article yesterday on a survey that said consumers trust the government with their personal information more than they do marketers.
According to the survey, just 25 percent of those surveyed said marketers can be trusted with their information. By comparison, 42 percent said they trust government authorities with their data.
Given the lopsided negative press coverage data-driven marketing has been getting for, oh, like decades, that so few consumers trust marketers are stewards of their data is not a surprise. 
What was a surprise was the content of the URL for the article:
Yep. You read that right. Marketers suck.
In the spirit of fair play, this post has a special URL created for AdAge.
Note to AdAge: I don’t really think you suck. I think you’re great. I just think someone within your organization needs to exercise a little discipline when writing URLs.
Announcing the [So-Far Failed] Magill Report Honey Pot Test
According to conventional wisdom, all an email address has to do to get spam is exist. Also according to conventional wisdom, email addresses published online are particularly vulnerable to spammers who harvest email addresses off the Internet.
Detecting marketers who scrape addresses off the Internet or who buy email lists from sources that scrape addresses is one reason for the existence of honey pot spam traps.
Honey pot spam traps are email addresses published online that have never been signed up for anything.
Just for the heck of it, I decided to publish my own honey pot to see what happens. I created a new email address two weeks ago and published it on my site. So far, it only has one welcome message from the webmail provider. No spam.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong. 
If anyone has any suggestions on how to proceed, I am all ears. Reach me at

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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Kelly
Date: 2014-04-16 10:11:08
Subject: You're doing it wrong

Don't use a webmail provider. Register a domain, refuse all mail for a few months (long enough for any real addresses to bounce off or be dropped for lack of engagement) and then start accepting mail. Seed it if you want, but you have to do more than publish it once.