Quick Tutorial: How to deal with REAL spam from an affiliate marketer

August 20, 2013 · 11 comments

in IT & Tech

stop-spam-150x150Hit A Spammer 
In The Wallet

Quick Tutorial: How to deal with REAL spam from an affiliate marketer.

(Before I go any further, let me state that the company we’re going to contact, in this example, is NOT the spammer, and is a reputable company.)

True spam from affiliates is common but NOT as common as most people think. Most of what most people flag as spam is actually not spam per the law.

Here’s a piece of real, unsolicited, never opted in, email harvested, unable to unsubscribe, non-CANSPAM-compliant, spam from an affiliate of a company that is actually reputable.

affiliate-spam-1

However, when faced with something that is DEFINITELY a violation of the law, such as this… and where a third party company (affiliate company) is involved… dealing with it is actually reasonably simple…

You simply identify the company… and then identify their URL…. and then send an email, with the forwarded spam, and a note, up to BOTH of these accounts:

abuse@ thecompany.com
support@ thecompany.com

Depending on the type of company they are… they will have one or both of these set up.

The law “encourages” them to have the abuse@ address… but since those actually get spammed a lot, I include the support@ address.

Here’s an example of the type of exchange you can expect:

affiliate-spam-3

See? It’s that simple… and there you have an affiliate spammer who will NOT be getting paid this month.

Mission accomplished.

Take note of how polite I was and how I refrained from yelling at the affiliate company.

They are actually MUCH more inconvenienced by what this spammer has done than I am and I’ve done them a service by letting them know.

Additionally, I’m going to hit the spam button. Though in this case, the spammer is using a temporary yahoo account and KNOWS that the account will wind up terminated, so this is not as effective as it would be if they were on Aweber/etc.

That’s all there is to it!  

One quick little email, to two simple to remember addresses, and bada-boom, bada-bing, you’ve just hit that spammer in the wallet! 

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing 

PS: Most of the time, it’s not as easy to deduce who the affiliate company is. But I chose this example so that you could clearly see that he was an affiliate and what I was doing to make the URLs. 

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11 comments
Nile
Nile

Not all companies have this, but it is definitely some good advice. Here is one thing I do know... if you're reporting someone on Yahoo! (since there are a lot of people using them to spam others), rather than use their ticket system, use abuse@yahoo-inc.com

Nithin upendran
Nithin upendran

Thanks for the information. How can we prevent spammers in social media like facebook. Here they are not offering any reward instead they trap us using spamming apps.. why can facebook stop them?

Janeparker
Janeparker

Yeah, you have introduced me with a special way of catching spammers. Thanks for your innovative thoughts.

Jose Palomino
Jose Palomino

Yes, I think is a good idea to identify the spammers

Marty Diamond
Marty Diamond

Thanks Kim -

Great idea - because up to now my solution was to just delete and move on - but you're right - if you don't hit them in their pocket - they just keep coming back for more - so in future I'll take the extra time to figure out the affiliate and let them know.

What's your solution though if the affiliate isn't obvious - do you dig further or just let it go?

Holly
Holly

Definitely quick and easy as you mention... Thanks for the lesson. However If it is not so easy to spot the affiliate, is it a lot more complicated to deal with the spam?

Farhan Memon
Farhan Memon

This is a great post... Very informative... THanks for sharing this tutorial to catch the damn spammer...

Jacqueline Waters
Jacqueline Waters

The only problem is the affiliate program is WP_neomobile unless that has something to do with rebelmouse?? I thought rebelmouse was a freebie like facebook?

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

While this post does not talk about Facebook spam... it's usually Facebook applications that are responsible for the biggest percentage of viral/contagious spamming. Unfortunately, that results in a game of "whack-a-mole" where FB swats them down and they just make a new app ID and are back in business. Because they make so much money off of those things, it will be a never-ending fight for FB to try to keep them to a minimum.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

I usually don't wrap too much time up in it - unless someone particularly irks me. Sometimes it feels really good to track down the little weasels but it's not always worth it. Know what I mean?

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Jacqueline, you're correct on both accounts. I used this to illustrate the idea more than to point to that company. What was going on here, was that an affiliate was pushing traffic through a RebelMouse page and using it as a proxy since it's a semi-trusted URL. What I did resulted in them losing their RebelMouse account which at least stopped the income off of that particular mailing. This really was mostly simply an example I used to visually illustrate something that isn't usually so easy. (To start with, most URLs are behind aweber/getresponse proxy and thus hard to preview at all in a graphic.) Good catch!

Kim