How I Almost Got Duped by a Spammer

As an email marketing guy, I tend to receive more email than the average consumer. I subscribe to a variety of email newsletters so that I can see the opt-in process, check out the welcome email (assuming they send one), and evaluate/critique all future emails.

If you are responsible for email marketing at your organization, I highly recommend doing this as well. It will give you ideas for subject lines, copy and creative, social connecting and sharing options, and so on.

Because I receive so much email, some legitimate email lands in my Gmail spam folder. I blogged about some of the changes Gmail made recently and shared why I think Gmail spam may be hurting your email marketing program.

Today, I found an email from Bank of America in my Gmail spam folder. See below.

Just looking at this email as shown above … what do you think – Is it spam?

Now let me share a bit more information with you. See if this changes your original answer.

The From Name was “Bank of America Alerts” and the Subject Line read, “Bank of America – Irregular Activity ..” While neither were terrible, it still did set off my “Spam Radar.” I would have expected the From Name be simply “Bank of America.” Also, the Subject Line just seemed spammy. Then I reminded myself that just because a Subject Line sounds spammy, it may not be – sometimes email marketers intentionally break the “rules.” 

However, as I continued to scroll down through the email, there were other red flags that confirmed this email was indeed spam. Check out the short screencast I did below to see what those red flags were. They almost got me! Also in this screencast, I share with you some tricks to determine whether an email is spam or legit.

Having trouble seeing this screencast? View it here.

Have you even been duped by a spammer? I’d love to see the email that you thought was legit. Please share below!

DJ Waldow


Did you know … Jason Falls and I just wrote a new book about breaking the rules of email marketing! In the book, we dedicate an entire chapter to “The Ideal Subject Line.” In The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, we share with you all sorts of email marketing “best practices” individuals and companies are breaking each and every day … and still finding success.


Is This Spam?

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spammity Spam. Email spam. We all get it. We all hate it.

While many email clients – especially Gmail – do a nice job of filtering out spam, some of it slips through the cracks and lands in our inbox.

Some of us get fooled by it, even guys like me who have been living, breathing, eating, and sometimes dreaming email marketing for over 7 years.

How do you know what is spam and what is legitimate? What are the “tells”, if you will?

In today’s screencast, I’ll break down an email I received and share some thoughts on “Is This Spam?” I apologize for the scratchy audio. Not sure what happened!

Having trouble viewing the screencast? Watch on Screenr.

I’d love to hear more about your experiences with spam. How do you tell if an email is spam? Have you ever clicked through on a spam email? Have you ever replied to the spammer?

Do tell…

DJ Waldow