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Reducing spam

I just came across a blog post that very clearly outlines some anti-spam techniques for your business email. While it is hard (impossible even) to stop spam completely, we can reduce it for our own sanity.

I will add that contact forms are not a guarantee against getting spam. I have found that the contact form is immune from spam for months  and then they hack it and I just reset the form with a new email address to solve the problem. Using captcha or recpatcha reduces the spam entries into the form itself, too.

Stephen made the suggestion of not adding an email address to business cards and printed stationery so there is no need to reprint things if you change your email address. I understand his point – reprinting is expensive!However, I do a lot of my business via email and actually prefer it to the phone so I want my email address on my cards.

My compromises to Stephen’s suggestion are:

  • have a soft copy letterhead you print as required so it is easy to adjust the email address
  • use a different email address on printed items and never use it online so it is less likely to be found by spammers
  • don’t put an email address on expensive printed items
  • only give out your business card personally – use a different card or a flyer/postcard for use in mass handouts (eg in a showbag, at an expo, in a mail out) and don’t add your email address to that

Again, as someone who likes emails, I would find it annoying to get a business card which didn’t include an email address – then I would have to search their website for one. So I think you need to decide if your clients & prospective clients would expect an email address or not before deciding whether or not to print it.

Do you include an email address on your business card? What about on your letterhead and invoices?

8 Responses to Reducing spam

  • Stephen Spry says:

    Hi Tash

    Thanks for linking to my article!

    I suggested people should not print an email address on any offline stationery, for one main reason…

    Because some “clever” person you know WILL enter your business card details into an online facility, and the robots will grab it.

    For example, maybe someone collects local business cards to set up an online web “directory” of local businesses. NIce free publicity, but at what cost if they include your email address?

    Or a business associate uses your email with a “refer-a-friend” script or similar to tell you about something that might be interesting. And it ends up being used for other illegitimate purposes.

    It’s happened to me more than once, contributing to my growing collection of daily spam.

    So naturally, I’m still very reluctant to print an email address on business stationery 🙂


  • tashword says:

    You’re welcome Stephen – it’s a great post! I totally agree that printing email addresses is a risk – I was just thinking of other aspects of not giving email addresses.

    My usual response is that I wish spammers would get a life!

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