Yes, you know the four-letter word I'm talking about and everyone wants to know how to get rid of it. Rhymes-with-ham has become such an overwhelming issue that ISPs are trying to do all sorts of things by setting up filters and blocking emails. The problem with this approach is that you don't get the emails you want and you keep getting the ones you don't want. It's a vicious cycle. The Federal anti-rhymes-with-ham legislation has been passed into law and is effective immediately. How will this affect you? If you are a legitimate email marketer with opt-in subscribers you're going to have to include your postal mailing address in your mass communications. Also, you'll need to have an easy way for people to unsubscribe if they choose. Now, will this law work for preventing all that rhymes-with-ham showing up in your email box? We'll have to wait and see.
Earlier this year I got an email that said for $15 I could have my email address placed on a National No-Spam List. Since the Colorado No-Call List for telemarketers seemed to be working after adding my phone # there, I thought why not give this a try? Well, most of you are probably already predicting that this was money not well spent. It didn't work.
Factoid: There are over two million websites about rhymes-with-ham. What does this tell you? It's a huge problem in need of a solution.
SpamKiller softwares - Doesn't the name alone sound so powerful? Surely it's got to do the trick. What I like about some of these softwares is that all the blocked messages are put into a separate email area that can be viewed. Messages can be “rescued" with a click if they are not rhymes-with-ham. What I don't like about these programs is that every time someone responded to an email that I sent and kept the same subject line in the reply - it was treated as rhymes-with-ham. By day 2 or 3 all rhymes-with-ham messages were coming through my regular email program and important business emails were being “filtered" into the blocked messages box. This was actually taking more time than simply hitting the delete key.
Setting up Email Filters - I spent about two hours one day setting up my own email filters to try and block the rhymes-with-hammers. I simply took the subject lines of several rhymes-with-ham emails sitting in my in-box and made a list of them in Word. Next, I copied and pasted those into my email program and told it to delete messages that contain these words. Again, this system failed to work because the rhymes-with- hammers keep inventing new words and subject lines. Take these two hours of time saved and use it more wisely getting reciprocal links which is much more fun and profitable.
Delete - My dirt simple approach to the rhymes-with- ham problem is the delete key. When I open my email program the first thing I scan for are subject lines that are business related. I respond to those first. Next, I look for familiar personal email addresses from friends or family. I move those to a personal folder to respond to later. Next, I start deleting the rhymes-with-ham without opening any of them. I have also learned that if you try to get removed from these lists by clicking on the links in their emails - you'll get even more rhymes- with-ham.
What is the solution for rhymes-with-ham? When people quit reading, responding and buying from these emails we may see less. This is a dream I have. Of course, I've thought the same about telemarketers and they're still around. It's unlikely that this will happen anytime soon.
The most immediate, free and simple solution is to use the delete key and use it often. This is a mindless task that can be done while sipping your morning latte or enjoying an ice-cold beverage.
Ok, enough about rhymes-with-ham - I'm getting hungry and going to make a ham sandwich. Pass the mustard please.
Anita Larson, The Web Muse & Co. , http://www.thewebmuse.com Creating websites that attract your ideal clients.