Foil the Bots – Bypass the Blocks!

    March 20, 2003

Bypass the Blocks!

I am on my way to choosing the right o*p*t–i*n mailing list for me! At this time, with only about 1200 names in my database, I manage my list myself. I am glad of my slow, methodical approach. Because –

1) I better understand the changing environment. I cannot rely solely upon mindless o*p*t–in list management. This fact influences my decision-making process when I eventually pick the right o*p*t–in software.

2) I now easily modify my mailings to reach more inquiries and subscribers. No bad will from those who want a quote or subscribe when they receive no reply.

3) Caveat – With a huge database, I might never know if my quotes reached their intended target. I might be getting a bad reputation because I “never responded” or never sent follow-up to subscriber wannabes.

There is an overabundance of S~P~A~M (yes, I can say that “word” on my website-based eZine). It is not being emailed through S~ blockers. I used the word “S~~~” and also “yelled” by saying “S~P~~” in all C-A-P-I-T-A-L letters. These are two factors used by S~ blockers to score your email. Many targeted words and how they are presented.

I send out a very small email (yes, S^I^Z^E D*O*E*S M~A^T~T-E^R), and avoid as many S^ blocker parameters as possible. This short message simply tells the reader to view the latest issue of “CyberSpaceMarketeer!” at – ( ) – it is a popUP upon entry, and is accessed from the homepage as well as archives in PDF format.

This is also an experiment. Yes – I bypass most SP^^ blockers. But I also provide more fresh content to my homepage each month.

My short email message is first sent to Ken Evoy’s – ( ). In the Subject: line I begin with the word TEST just before my subject – e.g. – “TEST CyberSpaceMarketeer” and I shortly get a test score and explanation emailed back to me. This is FR#~ (oops…another no-no word…and I Y*E-L-L*E~D it!

In addition to finding out what Body: copy and Subject: lines won’t fly past ~P^A* blockers, I also discovered other factors. I immediately bettered my score by changing the Time option in my email program to match the same time zone used by my “smtp” provider.

My current “smtp” provider has been a source of S~ in the past. So, many companies automatically block “all” email coming from that particular “smtp” – even if not-S~~m. More on this in a minute. Also, sp^^ blockers don’t like any relaying of email. These two factors in themselves are not enough to trigger the block. “Maybe” the only way to get any really top score is to email somebody else using the same “smtp.” Else most likely your most favorable score possible will be about 5.5.

It has been my observation most of my emails which bounce are sent to inquiries and subscribers using a company address – ( ). I’ve gotten many bounces from addresses which contain “.rr.” in them – ( Somebody@aaaa.rr.bbbb ).

How do I personally handle these bounces and suspected non-deliveries which I might not hear about? I have several webmail-based personal accounts. I simply re-send my message using one of these accounts. I add a note to the effect that –

“Here is your quote. I was unable to send it to you normally because your email is being censored by your ISP, most likely without your knowledge. My apologies for having to use my personal email provider and appearing unprofessional.”

[Note: Once when my quote went to a Texan, I added, “I am surprised that any Texan would put up with censorship!”]

I have seen many recent articles about all this “Big Brother” S^ blocker “bs.” While this is a potential problem for us netrepreneurs, it is “also” a problem for our consumers. It is time to let consumers know that their right to uncensored communication is being taken from them by brain-dead, but well-meaning, ISPs who are “protecting” their users from “S.”

Question: Do we stay quiet and not worry about the loss of good will and potential clients due to this situation and just let our o*p*t–in software do its thing? Or, do we begin a “grass-roots” movement and make our clients and customers aware their rights are being taken from them without their knowledge. Let “them” take care of this! With o*p*t–in software, can we program it to re-send such bounces via another “smtp”
with a note to the effect – “We had to resend this to you via another source because your ISP is censoring your right to receive answers to your inquiries. Please work this out with your ISP. We look forward to doing business with you.”

O*p*t–in software might be set up with a database of ISPs who bounce email, and automatically originally send out via another “smtp” to those wanting to receive our messages. “S~ Ass~as~sin” has a list – so can O*p*t–in software.

This S^^^ blocker development is not just our problem. It must be equally shared by those who will not tolerate censorship of their communication.

Foil the Bots!

On the other hand… One of my URLs was configured globally. I.e. (anything)@URL would end up in my mailbox. E.g. – ( ). This allowed for typos – and I received ALL email. Well…somebody either mail-bombed me with the same piece of S*, or some server was “spewing” – my ISP could not or would not do anything to stop over 350 pieces of identical S* reaching me daily.

The fast solution. I began using aliases and eliminated the “global” configuration. All that flow of S ^ ceased. It is irrelevant to me if my ISP finally did anything about this to take the load off their servers. Actually 2x the load as every piece of S * would bounce with the message, “User Unknown” – No longer my problem.

I don’t mind a little s-p-a-m – I can modify those subject lines and adapt them to my own email – many lines are quite good. S * can be a source of learning “and” I don’t need to buy a book with good subject lines.

However, whenever S * * * gets to be a problem, I simply delete my alias. That ends it. Say, maybe I should sell a report on “Alias Management” – Nah! Too similar to basic “Folder Management.”

I want to share with you a piece of S@ received the other day. They are trying to sell a CD with hundreds of thousands of Domain Name Registrant email addresses. “Somebody” has developed a spider to farm names from “Who-Is” – I have been getting a manageable few over the past six months but I expect many more shortly. What will I do about it? Add a new alias to my POP box. Then change my contact information with my Domain Register company. Then delete the old alias. Every time this S* source gets out of hand, repeat this simple 10-minute process.

Robert Leggett has over 10 years experience marketing the scuba industry over the Internet. His focus has changed. Robert works with individuals and business owners all over the world. He helps them succeed in business and achieve financial independence. Visit him at – Subscribe to his “Free for Life” newsletter – “CyberSpaceMarketeer” – Receive your Free eBook.