Click Here!
Article Sections: | Internet Marketing | Web Design | Web Development | Business | Internet and Businesses Online | Self Improvement |  
>> Home > Internet Marketing > Email Marketing

Here Comes the SPAM...

By Irina
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2004

The author grants permission to publish this article, in its entirety, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication (or, at least, an e-mail notification) sent to will be appreciated.

I exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet. My weight is right on the money. So every invitation "to loose 30 pounds in 20 days" insults more than just my intelligence and literary taste. Yet until now I managed to treat Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) or simply SPAM as a nuisance that wastes my time and resources, but does not represent a serious problem. Not any more!

The message that changed my attitude looked rather innocent:

"Hello [fname],
I am so-and-so. You are receiving this message because I saw your online business site..." The next day I got another similar message from different so-and-so. Soon, the number escalated to a dozen a day. Very disturbing was also the fact that the messages were arriving to my "strictly business" email addresses reserved exclusively for my customers and business partners. A little research quickly revealed the name of my new enemy - Spam Bot.

Spam Bot is much like a search engine spider. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week it crawls from page to page looking for email addresses. Even single Spam Bot is able to quickly produce huge list of addresses (only addresses - that's why they called me [fname]!) which are used to send SPAM. Unfortunately, there are many of them... Another problem is that being extremely easy to generate and thus very cheap, these lists are sold and re-sold over and over again to naïve (obtuse?) "netrepreneurs".

Looks like a serious self-perpetuating problem for anyone with business email address posted on the Internet. Is there a solution? Well, yes - you can completely eliminate this type of SPAM by making your email address unrecognizable for Spam Bots. Here are several possible approaches:

1. Use the FORM MAIL whenever possible. This not only conceals your email address, but also makes it easier for real visitors to contact you. Here is a working example: ( Anyone can email me a question by typing it in the window right on my page and hitting the "Submit Query" button. Yet the address itself is hidden from my human visitors as well as Spam Bots.

2. Replace your "mailto:" link with an IMAGE of your email address. To see an example go to ( Feel free to examine the HTML code of the page by right- clicking anywhere in the window and then scrolling to "View source" in the drop-down menu. Instead of my email address you (and Uncle Spam Bot as well!) will only see a link to "emaddress.gif". In this case additional security brings about some inconvenience - the address is not "clickable" and thus one has to memorize it or write it down. This slight disadvantage is circumvented in the next approach.

3. Replace several REAL characters in your email address with so-called SPECIAL characters. These special characters always begin with "&" and end with ";". Whatever is in between determines how the browser will interpret that particular special character. For example, typing "&" "#" "6" "4" ";" (without quotation marks and spaces) is equivalent to using the real character "@".

If you are skeptical that this replacement alone is enough to fool the Spam Bot (that, by the way, makes two of us) - proceed with replacing other characters in your email address. Here is your cheat-sheet to substitute all vowels: a=#97, e=#101, i=#105, o=#111 and u=#117. Remember to start every special character with "&" and end with ";". You can see how it works by going to (

My human visitors can see and click on my email address by using "Click here to get my email address" link. When viewing the code of the little window, you will not find the address in an explicit form - just a long string of special characters with some letters in between. This (hopefully!) is enough to confuse Spam Bots visiting my site.

We will never be able to totally eliminate SPAM that seems to come with the cyberspace "territory". Yet I should feel just a little better if the above suggestions at least partially shield your inbox from unwelcome (and often very badly phrased) offers to consolidate the debts you don't have or safely enlarge a part of your body that... well, you do not have either.

Copyright (C) by Irina 2003.

About the Author
Irina helps people save on healthcare and create steady stream of residual income working from home ( (


Click Here!



  Articles are submitted to EDN and licensed from various content sites.
  To report abuse, copyright issues, article removals, please contact [violations (at@)]

  Copyright © Evrsoft Developer Network. Privacy policy - Link to Us

Contact Evrsoft