Scraping for email addresses - bad?

29 replies
Just had an email from someone who I think is a member of this forum.

In the first line he openly admitted to using scraping software to get my email addresses, and then launched into his spammy sales pitch.

Do you agree that this is poor form?
#addresses #bad #email #scraping
  • Profile picture of the author Nathan2525
    Originally Posted by JimMichael View Post

    Just had an email from someone who I think is a member of this forum.

    In the first line he openly admitted to using scraping software to get my email addresses, and then launched into his spammy sales pitch.

    Do you agree that this is poor form?
    Hey Jim,

    This is business at it's worst.

    Avoid all crappy spammy scrappy rubbish and focus and
    building a solid business that is going to be around and worth
    a lot of money in 5 years from now.

    One Word: Delete.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimMichael
    I agree! Just wish I could name and shame the individual!
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Jim,
      I agree! Just wish I could name and shame the individual!
      PM me the info. If I can prove they scraped email addresses from this site, they'll be toast.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author chrisjenva
    There are so many other ways to get effective traffic than scraping for emails. The time, effort, and risks just are not worth it. If you are going to do email marketing, pay to send to lists that are interested and have opted in to receive what you are promoting. You will get much better results this way provided you have a good offer.
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    If you know for sure that this person is a member of the forum, report him to the Help Desk. The WF doesn't smile down kindly on members scraping other members' email addresses and spamming.

    ~Becky
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by JimMichael View Post

    In the first line he openly admitted to using scraping software to get my email addresses, and then launched into his spammy sales pitch.

    Do you agree that this is poor form?
    It is, yes ... but there are worse things.

    Which of these two cases is worse?

    (i) Someone uses scraping software to get your email address and just starts spamming you with his sales pitches without saying anything at all about how he came by your email address (i.e. what these idiots normally do), or ...

    (ii) Someone uses scraping software to get your email address and then sends you an email saying "I hope you won't mind too much, but I lifted your email address from the XYZ Forum using scraping software. If that makes you uneasy, then I apologize, and if you don't reply to this, you'll never be hearing from me again anyway. Now, you'll be wondering why I've resorted to this tactic which so many people find so questionable, and whether I have a reason that justifies it: well, that's for you to judge, of course, but just hold your judgement for three minutes, if you will, because I think the next couple of paragraphs might interest you rather a lot ..."

    I don't know about you, but I'd feel rather less angry at the second person. I think most people probably would, wouldn't they?

    I'm not trying to defend what happened, and what Becky says above is quite right, and clearly it's bad and wrong, but there are worse things, aren't there?

    It seems a little anomalous, when you think how many people do this without telling you, and mostly avoid trouble over it, for someone who has freely "owned up" (perhaps not realizing how "bad" it is) to have the book thrown at him ...

    Just my perspective.
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    • Profile picture of the author colinaudie
      You should mail him back giving him some friendly advice about ethics and if he has any humanity in him he will apologise and cease these practices.
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      • Profile picture of the author rkat55
        I usually won't even open an email unless I recognize who it's from. it's a good way to get a virus at the worst and at the best waste my time.

        And that is why spamming doesn't work very well. Only really dumb people will open your emails.
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        • Profile picture of the author ahweiner
          Spammy spammy spammy...its "black hat" all the way.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by colinaudie View Post

        You should mail him back giving him some friendly advice about ethics and if he has any humanity in him he will apologise and cease these practices.

        People who break laws never feel bad for breaking the law. They only feel bad about things if they get caught and have to pay the price.

        Spammers don't care how they get your email address or if you want to receive their mail. They only care about the chance to make $0.000001 per email sent.
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      It is, yes ... but there are worse things.
      Ok, an open question to the thread....

      What about people who use email list generators to generate a list of email addresses, and then use that list to invite Facebook friends to build a fan page from?

      Now to me, using a list generator and then emailing that list is walking a very fine line with the SPAM act. But I recently read an e-book where the author suggested doing this to build Facebook fan pages, and my question lies around is it ok because they are only using the email addresses for Facebook, in which they invite people (who have the option of ignoring them) to be their friends.

      Your thoughts?
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

        Ok, an open question to the thread....

        What about people who use email list generators to generate a list of email addresses, and then use that list to invite Facebook friends to build a fan page from?

        Now to me, using a list generator and then emailing that list is walking a very fine line with the SPAM act. But I recently read an e-book where the author suggested doing this to build Facebook fan pages, and my question lies around is it ok because they are only using the email addresses for Facebook, in which they invite people (who have the option of ignoring them) to be their friends.

        Your thoughts?

        I would consider that spam also.

        Further, I would consider it to be a low-value, black hat approach to IM.

        There are actually easier ways to make money than most BH'ers use, but since many of those folks are looking for "shortcuts", they will never be able to see the truth under their noses. :rolleyes:
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by thatkeywordguy View Post

        Pretty sure mass scraping of emails on websites is illegal. Is this true?
        I don't know. I think that's probably going to vary from country to country? My guess as a non-lawyer is that the "illegal" part will actually be sending them email, rather than scraping their email address (I may be wrong, and you can be sure it won't be as simple as that, anyway) ...

        Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

        What about people who use email list generators to generate a list of email addresses, and then use that list to invite Facebook friends to build a fan page from?

        Now to me, using a list generator and then emailing that list is walking a very fine line with the SPAM act. But I recently read an e-book where the author suggested doing this to build Facebook fan pages, and my question lies around is it ok because they are only using the email addresses for Facebook, in which they invite people (who have the option of ignoring them) to be their friends.

        Your thoughts?
        I don't know. It seems dreadfully spammy and unpleasant to me. I hope it's illegal, or at the very least contrary to Facebook's TOS ... :confused:

        I don't quite know which irritates me more: people doing things like that, or other people being gullible and naive enough to assume that "they're only doing it because it works". :p

        (You know how that "reasoning" goes? "They wouldn't keep doing it, if it didn't work, would they?" They don't realize that people don't keep doing it ... it's just that there are hundreds of them doing it for a few months each before they learn that it doesn't, and their places are always taken by others who bought the same e-book advising it. That's my theory, anyway: they're all shortcut-seekers, exactly as Bill says, above, and those people almost never manage to make a living).
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        • Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          I would consider that spam also.

          Further, I would consider it to be a low-value, black hat approach to IM.

          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          I don't know. It seems dreadfully spammy and unpleasant to me. I hope it's illegal, or at the very least contrary to Facebook's TOS ... :confused:
          Yea more or less my sentiments as well. What amazed me is that no one else picked up on this on that thread, and everyone was thanking the guy for an awesome e-book etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

            Yea more or less my sentiments as well. What amazed me is that no one else picked up on this on that thread, and everyone was thanking the guy for an awesome e-book etc.
            It happens ... many of them may be people whose "testimonials" are incentivized with a free copy, and left in the thread before they've even read the product.

            I'm generalizing, of course: call me a skepchick, but I think the people who offer nonsensical advice like that probably overlap to quite some extent with the people whose thread testimonials might also be on the "questionable" side?
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  • Profile picture of the author JimMichael
    The whole just struck me as strange.

    In his email he talked about how rich his system made him, etc. I emailed back asking him for some more details on his income claims and he wrote back saying that he has, in reality made nothing yet and he is totally new to the online game.

    My business brings me enough money that I don't have to dabble with 'get rich' garble ever. Just thought I'd ask the opinion of others here, as I'd never consider scraping for email addresses. Talk about lazy marketing.

    Anyway, thanks for your opinions!
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  • Profile picture of the author cashtree
    Had a spammer contact me yesterday, in his email he said he scrapped my email but don't be mad etc etc...haha, is a unique way to approach it I guess, but yeah you shouldn't scrap any emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    There are a few email scrapers on the forum.

    Here is what you do to teach them a lesson ....

    1. Signup for a free Yahoo email account.

    2. Create a vacation response that automatically sends a promotional offer (or your favorite message to scrapers and spammers) when someone sends an email to that address.

    3. Casually drop the email address on the forum.

    4. Have a good laugh.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author thatkeywordguy
    Pretty sure mass scraping of emails on websites is illegal. Is this true?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jwil1025
    it is illegal to send commercial emails to anyone with out them giving you permission. That's why when ever you optin you have to verify by clicking the link send to your email by your auto responder..

    I receive promotional emails all the time that have a disclaimer at the bottom saying that the above email is for guidance and not trying to sell anything but thats exactly what they are doing. I usually don't open them unless by accident..

    Jeremy
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Jwil1025 View Post

      it is illegal to send commercial emails to anyone with out them giving you permission. That's why when ever you optin you have to verify by clicking the link send to your email by your auto responder..

      I receive promotional emails all the time that have a disclaimer at the bottom saying that the above email is for guidance and not trying to sell anything but thats exactly what they are doing. I usually don't open them unless by accident..
      I cannot address Australian law, but in the US it is legal and a prohibition would have 1st Amendment problems.

      The US CAN-SPAM Act allows sending commercial email without permission, but requires that the email be truthful, not deceptive, have a working opt-out provision, etc.

      Of course, spammers are spammers for a reason and ignore the law, so you are generally wise to ignore opt-out links.

      For popular autoresponder services there may also be a contractual requirement to only send messages after permission has been obtained.

      .
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    • Profile picture of the author cardine
      Originally Posted by Jwil1025 View Post

      it is illegal to send commercial emails to anyone with out them giving you permission. That's why when ever you optin you have to verify by clicking the link send to your email by your auto responder..

      I receive promotional emails all the time that have a disclaimer at the bottom saying that the above email is for guidance and not trying to sell anything but thats exactly what they are doing. I usually don't open them unless by accident..

      Jeremy
      You are allowed to send commercial email addresses to businesses without them needing to opt-in first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    i think i got the email too...

    banned and clicked spam.. didnt even click on his link
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    This is a bad method by scraping emails. Most of these guys are using this method to spam people through advertising their own products, service or offers. It's better that you should build a list in a smart way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Praney Behl
    I would suggest offering something valuable for free to gain trust and build repo among your clients, and then take it from there.

    Hope it helps.

    Praney
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  • Profile picture of the author Anomaly1974
    I have noticed a lot more frequent occurrences of signing up for one list and having it end up being some sort of "co-op" for lack of a better term where they think it is fully justified in making a very small mention of it somewhere in the middle of the fourth or fifth page of the ToS and then ending up receiving emails from tens or even hundreds of different marketers. Not quite as bad I suppose but still something I would never participate in as it cannot be a great confidence builder for your readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simmeon
    Scraping emails is worthless. Start from scratch, more valuable.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Yep, scraping emails is a horrible idea.

    I would never advise you do that.

    I read it was illegal in the U.S. to send promotional emails to email addresses you had obtained by automated scraping tools, but have never found confirmation of this. Is it?
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