Changing email addresses to combat spam

I’ve had the same personal email address at Outskirts Press since I started this company in 2002.  Like most entrepreneurs/founders, I was wearing “multiple hats” and doing multiple tasks in the early days, so while I had different email addresses for different departments (information, production, marketing, etc.), my own personal “Brent Sampson” email address at Outskirts Press has been the same for over 10 years.  As Outskirts Press grew exponentially, and as Outskirts Press added more people to assist with the hundreds, and then thousands, of authors “coming through our doors,” my email box exploded — sometimes literally, with the Outlook .pst file often becoming so big it crashed seemingly all the time, even with frequent archiving.   More people and more Outskirts Press email addresses were added to spread out the volume, but the fact remained that once people had my email address, they rarely used anyone else’s.

Spam is a lot like that. Once your email address is on some spam lists, it becomes nearly impossible to fight the deluge.  Spam/bulk filters and “rules” can only do so much.  In the early years of Outskirts Press, I was extremely prudent about keeping my email address off of spam lists, since I knew my normal, REAL email volume was bad enough.  To keep my email address from spam lists, I never used it when signing up for services/information over the Internet — I had a different email address specifically for that purpose.

However, over the past year, I became less concerned with protecting my personal Outskirts Press email address from spam, probably because my REAL work related email was finally becoming manageable due to aggressive delegation of responsibilities that I had held on to for so long.  In retrospect, I’m not sure why one was related to the other (perhaps subconsciously, I MISSED crashing my Outlook .pst file due to volume).  But, sadly, it only takes one or two “submit your email address here” missteps to lose control when those sites seemingly add your email address to other lists and then others still until you suddenly find yourself receiving hundreds and thousands of emails with subject matters as ridiculous and diverse as…

  • 2 easy steps to get 1500 in less than an hour
  • Just like your neighbors (receive cash back on your home Monday)
  • Urgent personal matter regarding your credit rating
  • Serious complications associated with mesh implant
  • Cheap Auto Coverage
  • Summer is here get fit with Dr oz
  • How to save your health, Brent Sampson
  • We have just what Dad wants and for only $19.99
  • Order modern medicaments for better sex. Cheaper than offline!
  • You shouldn’t go another day withoutb
  • MUST SEE- Dr Oz Exposes the new diet breakthrough
  • Unsecured Business Loans for Every Business Owner with Any Credit Score
  • Explore the Possibilities With Beautiful Chinese Women
  • Your Service Order Request: Home Warranty Confirmation
  • You Are Risking A Lot Here by not activating your policy- extended one more day
  • Home Security Camera Kits
  • Grab trusty medicaments against premature ejaculation. Works really fast!
  • Last Chance: Get 20% off your order + Free Shipping
  • Receive FREE Bible verses daily.
  • 2013 Medicare Plans
  • Take the guesswork out of Father’s Day
  • Secure your loan application in 7 minutes
  • Your pain can be quickly and effectively reduced today by Anatabloc
  • Log in details enclosed…Hot brides from Russia
  • Get the money you need
  • Discover this joint pain secret
  • Home Depot and Sears new window quotes.
  • Try the electronic cigarette on us!

… and that’s just from THIS MORNING!

Spam, your days of bombarding my personal Outskirts Press email box are coming to an end!  Over the next week I will be phasing out my Brent Sampson email address that I’ve had since 2002 and I will create a new one.   Doing so comes with some necessary logistic steps and some potential downsides, which I’ve listed below, but in this “war on spam” I have to consider that acceptable collateral damage. Here are the steps and downsides I anticipate:

1. Notify the Outskirts Press board, our executive Vice President, and the department heads at Outskirts Press that I’m changing my email address to something else. They, in turn, will disseminate that contact information to others in their respective departments.

2. Notify personal contacts like family and close friends of my change of email address.

3. Change the Outskirts Press system notices to my new email address (our system notifies me automatically of some statistics and milestones related to our company, so I’d still like to receive those emails).

4. Put an auto-responder on the “old” Brent Sampson email address that is “spam/robot” proof — this means, unfortunately, that it cannot mention my new email address within the body of the auto-response.

5. Realize (and come to grips with the fact) that much of the contact I currently enjoy with our published author-base may cease or be delayed. This downside is what has prevented me from changing my email address for so long. I enjoy hearing from our authors. Many of the authors who write to me have been with Outskirts Press for a long time, and I consider many of them friends.  The vast majority of emails I receive from authors are positive, and when they’re talking about something I love (like my company), it fills me with joy and pride to read what they have to say. I’ll miss that.  Once in a while an email I receive from an author is negative, and when they’re talking about something I love (like my company), it breaks my heart; and I do everything I can to a) address their concern in a reasonable way, and b) prevent the issue from becoming a problem in the future whenever possible.   But, the fact of the matter is that someone else now handles all those glowing author testimonials (new ones are added daily) and someone else now handles client concerns.    And that means it’s time to make this change.

Dr. Oz, I’ve seen the last of you and your diet miracles. Good riddance.