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Issue37: My fight against Spam – Part2: Victory!

Dear Subscriber,

I hope you had a great start in the new year. I am planning to lay the foundations for a completely new small business and a big move from Germany back home to Brazil. But first, we (my wife, our three lovely little kids and I) are going to spend a long holiday over there – 11 weeks. Hopefully, there is now a better internet connection available in our small jungle town that allows me to upload and publish a couple of pictures for you on my blog.

One thing that I had to resolve before the travel and gladly managed to get rid of was the spam problem. How I finally became spam-free, you are about to read in today┤s newsletter.

Today┤s topics:

1) wanted: 15 resellers for HTML video tutorial

2) My battle against spam – Part 2: Victory!

Enjoy !

——————————————————

1) 15 Resell Licences for HTML Video Tutorial CD ROM

During my stay in Brazil, from february, 14, until mai, 3, I won┤t be able to run my online business at full speed. I will only care about customer support and stop selling my physical product (HTML video tutorial on CD ROM).

This could be your opportunity, because I decided to offer only a maximum of 15 resell licences, so people who want to buy the CD from my site will be able to buy it from you. In addition to the resell rights, you also receive customization rights, i.e you are allowed to change my affiliate links to yours and earn commissions in the back-end.

The video tutorial package on CD ROM includes:

– HTML video tutorial
– Blogging video tutorial
– RSS Syndication video tutorial
– thousands of open-source cliparts
– dozens of website templates and header graphics (in psd format)
– software package: free HTML editor and a few open source
software tools

Affiliate links to recommended products and services inside the tutorials are for:

– different webhosts (dreamhost, hostgator, bluehost, … )
– AutoWebLaPro
– GoDaddy (domain name registrations)
– CaRP Evolution
– Evrsoft (HTML editor and other webmaster tools)
– 3 books for webmasters (Copywriting, CSS, PHP) on Amazon

Of course, there are many more useful products and services that can be promoted to newbie webmasters and bloggers, but this is up to you and can be done via e-mail follow-up.

You can sell the CD ROM for any price you like and also add more bonuses if you have resell rights to other products like e-books, software tools and website templates. The suggested retail price is $15 plus shipping.

This is an awesome opportunity for everybody who has a website and e-mail list targeted to the internet marketing niche, a great way to build a list of paying customers.

You will also receive customized versions of my blogging and RSS syndication video tutorials as ZIP archives that you can offer as downloadable gift for people who subscribe to your newsletter.

The price for a reseller licence is $ 165 (plus 15$ S&H)

Only a maximum of 15 licenses are available for the entire year 2007, because I really want to give you the opportunity to sell a great product without competing with hundreds of other resellers.

Until the end of May, I will remove the order links for the HTML tutorial from my site EasyWebTutorials and replace them with links to my resellers┤ sales pages (in rotation).

If you are unsure if this opportunity is for you, don┤t hesitate to ask any questions. Otherwise, grab it now:
HTML Tutorial Reseller Licence

First come – first served.

——————————————————

2) My fight against spam – Part 2: Victory!

What a relief! I┤m spam-free again and happily looking forward every day to check my e-mails. Here is my story about how I got rid of the spammers.

In newsletter issue 34, I asked my subscribers about the strategies they are using to fight spam. Thanks for all who send their feedback, I really received some great tips.

My first attempt to keep the junk out of my inbox was to use e-mail spam filers. I tried several different ones, but quickly noticed that every filter needs quite a lot of training before it becomes effective and even then, there are still a few spam messages that slip through and other legitimate e-mails that are caught by the filter. The need for constant training of the filters wouldn┤t really save me time – I could as well delete all the spam manually. Believe me, over time I got really fast at it.

The second problem with filters is that you still continue to receive those junk messages in your POP e-mail account. But I really wanted to stop them, shut the doors, so that every spam that hits my domain will just bounce back.

Hence, I decided that a radical change would be the best and the time spent for updating my contact details with all the services would be less than the time I would have to spend for training the filters and checking for false positives.

A radical change means that you delete the e-mail address that gets spammed and create a new one. In addition, you take measures in order to prevent spammers from getting to know your new e-mail.

That┤s easy if you are starting a new site or if you didn┤t use your e-mail address as contact info for various important services in your business. I had used mine (guido@thejunglemarketer.com) as contact info for all kinds of things. So, here is what I did, step by step:

1) Making a list of services and important business contacts:

I created a list of all the sites, services and newsletters that are still important for my business and for which I had used the email address in question as contact info:

– affiliate networks ( CJ, ClickBank, Linkshare, etc … )
– Paypal and eBay
– different webhosting providers
– other services
– individual affiliate programs (AllPosters, Wordtracker, etc …)
– forums and article directories
– membership sites
– newsletters

2) Create one main e-mail account (POP account)

The core idea is to create one master e-mail account that nobody than you knows about and no spammer on earth can guess, something like: sv9347fgs82w@thejunglemarketer.com

Then you create several different e-mail aliases that you use for different purposes and that all forward to the master account. For each service, affiliate program, newsletter, etc …, you create a new e-mail alias. In addition, you may add a short prefix or suffix that is hard to guess, too.

Every e-mail alias is used to sign up for one service or newsletter only. So if it happens (you never know) that one day one of those e-mail aliases – for whatever reason – gets on a spammer┤s list, you can easily and quickly change it and only have to update your contact info with one service.

So, now I have e-mail aliases like:

allposters-gx4@thejunglemarketer.com
clickbank-3gp@thejunglemarketer.com
godaddy-9c7@thejunglemarketer.com
and many many more
(of course, the above aliases are only examples and fictive)

All those aliases forward to the master POP account
sv9347fgs82w@thejunglemarketer.com (see above). This is also the e-mail account that I check regularily with Outlook.

3) Update contact info

Once you┤ve created all the e-mail aliases you need, you have to visit all the sites on your list, log into your account and update your profile with the new contact info. That┤s the most time consuming part.

4) Protect your contact e-mail with a spam-proof form

You cannot protect yourself 100% from spam, there is always a small chance that spammers find your contact info. The most vulnerable e-mail address is the one you are using for communicating with your business contacts and friends. You really should have one extra e-mail address that is used as “from” and “reply-to” address.

Mine is: ##REMOVED##

I use it as “reply-to” address in my autoresponder messages and also as “from” address in my e-mail client. Why is this address so vulerable? Simply because it┤s the only one that many people know about and one day it might happen that somebody takes it and submits it to a spammer┤s list or posts it somewhere on the web for the spambots to find it.

It happened two months ago with the contact e-mail for my tutorials site. I had this e-mail address displayed on the contact page but hidden in a javascript. This worked very well for an entire year, but a few days after the site became victim of a hacking attempt, spam started to pour in.

Now, having a separate address for all e-mail communications, I can easily and quickly change it in the rare case that spammers find it.

A better way than hiding your contact e-mail with javascript is to hide it in a spam-proof contact form. The problem with most form processing scripts is that they can easily be spammed, especially those scripts that are part of popular website scripts like WordPress, guestbooks, phpBB forums, etc …

There┤s no real use for hiding your contact info if all the junk will be submitted to your contact form whose content is sent to you by e-mail. The funny thing is: they do not even have to fill out the forms. Knowing your form processing script and its URL, they can submit their junk directly to the script, so you will continue receiving spam even when you remove your contact form from all your webpages.

To make a long story short: I found two free and good contact form scripts. The first one is very easy to install and works on most webhosts:

Secure Formmailer by DagonDesign

I┤m using it on the contact page of my article directory.

Notice that the above URL is a separate contact page from the one that comes with the directory script (ArticleDashboard), because the form processing part of this script is very vulnerable to spam, too.

I┤m using this script on my DreamHost hosted websites, because I couldn┤t get a more sophisticated security image verification to work on DreamHost. I know of at least one visually impaired person reading this newsletter who surely has difficulties reading the security images, so I searched for a security image with audio which can be integrated into another great form processing script – NateMail.

I found ProtectWebform.com, a free service that offers different security checks for your web forms and also the more sophisticated security image I┤ve been looking for.

You can get a free version of NateMail from MindPalette.

And you can see ProtectWebform┤s security image integrated into NateMail on my new contact page.

5) Delete old e-mail and create autoresponder message

Once you have updated all your contact e-mails and successfully installed your new contact form, you can go ahead and delete your old spam-polluted e-mail address.

Then you really should create an instant reply autoresponder message (every good webhost offers this type of autoresponders), because there are still many people (friends, colleagues, subscribers, customers, …) who have your old e-mail address stored in their e-mail clients.

In the autoreponder message you should tell people that you had to delete your old address due to the massive amount of spam and that you can now be contacted through your new contact form. Don┤t forget to include the URL of your contact page, of course.

I have setup my old e-mail address “guido@thejunglemarketer.com” as autoresponder. Try it out if you like – simply send a message to this address and see what happens.

You have two choices for handling the messages that are sent to your autoresponder. Have them forwarded to another address / POP account or have them deleted. I┤ve chosen to delete all messages after the autoresponse has been sent.

That┤s it – I┤m spam-free again and it feels sooo good.

If you have any questions – just ask.

I┤m curious how long my new address will stay spam-free. Anyway, if spam happens, it will then only be a matter of 5 minutes to create a new address and update my e-mail client and contact forms.

Yours,

Guido W. Stiehle
TheJungleMarketer

P.S.: Feel free to promote your site by submitting your articles to my new article directory.

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