Tags: phishing

Yahoo Mail’s New Ad Targeting Software Puts the User in Control

Beyond • June 15, 2011

If you need more proof of how competitors are constantly watching one another, you have it right here. In what a few spectators are calling a move to follow in Google’s footsteps, Yahoo! has given its popular webmail product some significant enhancements. The internet giant recently launched an update that promises to improve the email experience for its users and make it more profitable for its advertising partners. From Email Security to Email Targeting So what’s new? Well for starters, Yahoo! will be utilizing the same keyword scanning technology it uses to identify spam, malware and phishing emails to create targeted advertisements across its ad network and within the mail product. The search company is hoping that the new improved system will increase ad interaction among email users who are viewing advertisements that are more relevant to them. This scan technology will also be employed to scan instant messages and SMS text messages that come through Yahoo’s other messaging clients. To no surprise the mere thought of email scanning and sharing data with third-party partners has brought up talk of privacy concerns. Apparently this is something Yahoo! was prepared for as the updated Mail product will require users to consent to the target advertising by opting-in, allowing them to control the ads they receive via the company’s new Ad Interest Manager. Even more interesting is the addition of an application that provides a way for users to easily opt-out of the newsletters and mailing lists they are subscribed to. Instead of going through the process of clicking a link and traveling out of the inbox, users will be able to unsubscribe to email communications by simply dragging and dropping a message to a folder that automatically handles the opt-out procedure. How Email Marketers Are Affected According to David McDowell, Yahoo Mail Senior Director of Product Management, the new opt-in-based permissions policy applies to all of the company’s communications products, including the updated webmail client, Yahoo Messenger and its mobile applications. McDowell said the decision to put more control in the hands of the user is related to the fact that consumers these days are bogged down with so many email messages. While the policy will certainly help users who want to clear out the clutter, it could make it harder for some email marketers to make an impact in the inbox. With the ability to easily unsubscribe from mailings, senders whose content lacks relevance may not only be tuned out, but lose subscribers in the form of those who decide to use the new drag-and-drop function to opt-out. The new version of Yahoo Mail, which was launched as a beta product to select users last October, will be rolled out to the company’s 280 million plus users around the globe in the coming weeks. While the internet powerhouse is obviously looking for a way to drive up advertising revenue, improving targeting through email scanning clearly could not work without easing the consumer’s privacy fears in the process. As a result of Yahoo’s mission to keep both its advertisers and user base happy, email marketers will have to step up their game and increase the focus on relevance.


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The Weekly Wrap: A Special Kind of Email Blog

Beyond • June 3, 2011

Writing the weekly wrap, I was reminded that I still need to buy my dad a Father’s Day gift (I was also reminded when I wrote the blog about Father’s Day). This is officially my reminder to you all that Father’s Day is coming up. However, if you need to do some procrastinating before buying your gift, peruse the best of the Benchmark Email blog from this week. Twitter Gets Their Customers Back with a Special Kind of Email Good thing Paul doesn’t have my job. I would have some explaining to do if I was receiving emails from Twitter about a dormant account. At least we can thank Paul’s lax Twitterings for unearthing a great example of a company using email to win back subscribers. Sometimes it’s easier than finding new ones. See how Twitter Gets Their Customers Back with a Special Kind of Email. Support Update: What Is the Difference between Polls and Surveys? Perhaps not so many Benchmark Email employees should admit that they don’t know the difference, but you can count me as one of them. Thanks, Michelle, for clearing it up. Find out, What Is the Difference between Polls and Surveys? 6 Tips to Avoid Phishing (and Other Spam) Scams My dad (more on him later) is constantly assuming he’s going to get scammed on the internet. I’d send this post to him, if I thought he would ever read a blog...or know what a blog is. Everyone else can learn the 6 Tips to Avoid Phishing (and Other Spam) Scams. How to Craft a Great Online Survey Now that you know the difference between a survey and a poll it seems to be as good of a time as any to learn how to make a great one. Convenient, right? Discover How to Craft a Great Online Survey. 6 Ways to Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing Not sure why, but lists of 6 seem to be the theme this week. I only need one reason to tell you why you should read 6 Ways to Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing, though. Because I said so! Email Marketing Services for Your School or PTA In my day, we had to walk to school barefoot...uphill both ways! No not really, but it was long enough ago that email most certainly wasn’t used by the PTA. Don’t sound as crotchety as me. Stay current with Email Marketing Services for Your School or PTA. The Quirks of Japan’s Opt-In Email Marketing Legislation Hal is continuing in his efforts to help you with your international email marketing efforts. Domo arigato, Hal! Discover The Quirks of Japan’s Opt-In Email Marketing Legislation. Father’s Day Email Templates In this post, I reminisced about the good ol’ days of giving your parents finger paintings as gifts. That got me thinking. Why couldn’t I give my dad a finger painting for Father’s Day? Because when your 26-year-old son sends you a finger painting for Father’s Day, you might assume he’s on drugs. That’s why. Whether or not you’ve decided on a Father’s Day gift for the dads in your life, it is time to think about your Father’s Day email campaigns. Check out the Father’s Day Email Templates from Benchmark Email. Is Your Email Marketing Segmentation Bringing in the Goods? That’s what it’s all about right? The goods? Yeah. That or the Hokey Pokey. You don’t have to turn yourself around to do segmentation, but there is work that needs to be put in (just not your right foot). Ask yourself, Is Your Email Marketing Segmentation Bringing in the Goods? Best Note Taking Software: Evernote vs. SOHO Notes For someone that is as scatterbrained (re: ADD) as I am, note taking is imperative. If I don’t write down an idea when I think of it, it will most likely be gone forever. Deciphering what I write down is a whole different story. I’ve been using Evernote for a while now. The compatibility from computer to my iPhone is great. You can decide for yourself. Discover the Best Note Taking Software: Evernote vs. SOHO Notes.


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One Goes Down, Another Goes Up

One Goes Down, Another Goes Up

Beyond • December 3, 2010

How much email traveling out there in cyberspace is spam? As of September 2010, 89.4%. Yep, about 9 out of 10 emails that are sent are emails you or someone like you does not want. But look on the bright side, that\'s down from 92.5% in August 2010. I know, I know, from a narrow POV it\'s still 9 out of 10. But when we look at the big picture it\'s a reduction in the billions. Now, does this mean that spammers are growing a conscience and realizing what they do is wearing and tearing at the infrastructure that carries their message? Do they know that spam is harmful to the inbox owner who has to take the time and sift through junk emails everyday? Can they fathom that spam is a plague to the tax payer, because governments both local and national have to provide additional equipment, software and manpower needed to combat the problem in some ironic rerun of the Cold War\'s arms race gone digital? Probably not. Now phishing is on the rise and we must be ever diligent to not fall victim to emails and websites that use familiarity to lure us into giving away sensitive information. I can personally say I was a victim a long, long time ago to a phishing campaign. It was a website that looked exactly like the bank of my credit card. After naively entering the information requested, I realized what a colossal mistake I had made. So, what did I do to save myself a giant headache? I immediately registered my social security number, phone number and all credit/debit cards with the Federal Trade Commission. Plus I provided the FTC with a trace route of the malicious website. Now I update my information with the FTC every 6 months. I know this can be a chore, but it\'s much better than dealing with years of hardship trying to get your life back in order.


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Deliveribility Tip: Why URLs Shouldn’t Be Used As Link Text

Deliveribility Tip: Why URLs Shouldn’t Be Used As Link Text

Beyond • June 4, 2009

Phishing is one of the greatest menaces on the Internet today and miscreants are using it increasingly to extract information from unsuspecting individuals. If you don’t already know, phishing is the process of getting personal data from people (such as their names, emails or credit and debit card numbers) surreptitiously by luring people into clicking on a link to a malicious website. Fortunately, some email clients now have filters that block out phishing. The problem, however, is that these filters often block legitimate mail in the process making it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. This happens because the phishing filter compares the actual hypertext reference (href) URL of the website with the link text displayed in the email to decide if it is a case of phishing. Your email tracking software converts your otherwise regular href URL into a format that enables tracking. This is done so that you know who has clicked on the link, you know the click rates and so that the reader goes to the desired web page on clicking. The Problem: Any Email Marketing Software including Benchmark Email redirects links in order to track them in your reports. Using the actual URL can cause the redirected link to look suspicious, causing some anti-phishing filters to disable the link or possibly block the email. For example, your original HTML link could be something like this: <a href=\"https://www.xyzfarms.com\">https://www.xyzfarms.com</a> However, after processing the code through an email tracker, your HTML code might end up looking like this: <a href=\"https://xyzfarms.create...com/t/y/l/dijkdh/l/t\">https://www.xyzfarms.com</a> The Solution: To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you not use the actual URL or your web address but rather use words in place of a URL. For example, an effective solution to the problem illustrated above could be: <a href=\"https://www.xyzfarms.com\">The XYZ Farms Website</a> This ensures that phishing stays out and authentic email reaches its destination.  


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