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.