Nearly every day, I get 4 copies of a bunch of spam trying to sell me Shopify inventory management, Shopify store marketing, Shopify product feed management, Shopify shipping services, etc.
Why Shopify? Because there's a script tag on my sites with the word "shopify" in it. I don't run any Shopify stores.
Why 4 copies of every mail? Because I have 4 sites with that tag.
BuiltWith sells my contact info in their list of "Shopify websites", which these people toss into MailChimp and spam away, despite the fact that unsolicited mailings are a ToS violation there and everywhere else. I know BuiltWith is the source since one of them named their MailChimp list "BuiltWith Shopify US".
It's a brilliantly simple and profitable site that I wish I had come up with, but the fact that the business model they ended up at is basically "harvested e-mail vendor for spam" kinda sucks.
PS: I am also trying to do that at a smaller scale/success position as of now... :-)
I was modded down a few months back for calling MailChimp a spamming service. Well, now we know they are. "Transactional e-mail delivery". Yeah, right.
MailChimp is 100% intended for marketing emails. Though I'm sure they at least try to have their customers not be spammers.
If you import a huge list for spamming they will find out the first time you send out email and block your account.
2) The only way to spam with MailChimp is to lie to MailChimp as you have to use the bulk/direct import. [e.g. There is a checkbox saying it was an opt-in only list, or at least there used to be]
They can't. By definition they are email marketing aka spamming.
Unless you're trying to claim that the very concept of sending solicited marketing messages via email is inherently bad (which seems a ludicrous position to take), then calling MailChimp a spamming service seems like libel.
Most people provide an email address only because they get extorted if they don't, and the company they are providing it to makes it egregiously hard to find the "No, don't spam me you assholes" choice.
I know since I run my own email server. I can give out a unique address to every single company that demands it, and I am actively aggressive about the "No don't bug me" button.
I have 432 pieces of junk scattered across 22 unique email addresses that have been sold. THAT'S JUST TODAY
If Mailchimp wants to convince people that it's not just enabling a bunch of spammers, it's really easy--simply put an X-Mailchimp: line in every email. If that doesn't turn into an anti-spam keyword, they're not spammers.
Oh, whoops, we already did this experiment. They actually had to remove MailChimp identification from email blasts for exactly that reason.
If you get spam that's sent via MailChimp, that's not MailChimp's fault, that's the spammer's fault. If a spammer sent you unsolicited email using their computer's built-in mail client, would you blame that mail client for the spam? No, you'd blame the spammer. So I don't get why you're trying to pin the blame here on MailChimp.
As for the X-Mailchimp suggestion, your assertion here is laughable. Of course they don't want to identify messages sent by them! Even though spamming is not their fault, they still recognize that a certain percentage of emails they sent are actually spam (they just have no way to identify that percentage ahead of time). And if they are sending enough spam, then any common identification for their emails is going to end up getting flagged as a spam indicator, which will cause all of their email to get filtered as spam (even though a lot of it isn't spam). And since their business is sending email, having all their email filtered as spam is obviously not compatible with their business.
Given all that, not identifying their emails as being sent by them is not some sign that they're doing something nefarious, it's simply common sense.
Postfix clearly identifies itself in email headers. Thunderbird clearly identifies itself in email headers. The ratio of non-spam to spam is high enough that the Bayesian filters don't train to recognize those as a spam keyword.
If MailChimp were a legitimate tool, it would fare the same. The fact that MailChimp doesn't meet that ratio means that too many people mark what is sent using it as spam.
And you're continuing to ignore the distinction between a tool that is commonly used to send spam even though that's not its purpose, and a tool whose purpose is to send spam. MailChimp is the former, but you're treating it like the latter.
MailChimp does identify every message sent by them, and they do it with X-MailChimp type headers. http://i.imgur.com/a9bzEtG.png
Try to be more civil when disagreeing with someone. What's worse than being wrong? Being super arrogant and insulting while wrong. That was unnecessary.
I checked my own Bayesian and MailChimp does keyword as a medium spam indicator, but not enough for an immediate dump.
When I went to look for MailChimp emails, I found that I didn't have any. Apparently, MailChimp's servers are actually blacklisted on my server. And apparently it was done by hand by me about 4 years ago (yay for revision control on config files--boo for terse log comments).
Something major happened about 4 years ago with MailChimp for me to actually construct a permanent blacklist entry by hand rather than let the keywords filter, but I guess I don't remember properly what the issue was anymore.
> What's worse than being wrong? Being super arrogant and insulting while wrong. That was unnecessary
No, what's unnecessary was that. You're being deliberately offensive here. I took bsder's claim in good faith, and you're calling me "super arrogant and insulting" for doing that. That was completely uncalled-for.
> your assertion here is laughable
This is an insult. That's what laughable means: his claim is so ludicrous that you could laugh about it. If you don't intend to insult someone who's not on stage delivering a comedy routine, then you shouldn't call their ideas laughable.
> Of course they don't
You purposely emphasized words in a way that, if emphasized by tone in speech, would come across as very condescending.
> obviously not compatible
Telling someone that it's "obvious" what they claimed is incorrect is arrogant. If it was obvious to them, they wouldn't have said it.
a) Opt-in unchecked. These guys are "doing it right" except they usually have this box right next to a probably completely unnecessary TOS box that's also unchecked. Anyone who isn't paying attention will just check all the boxes to get to the next stage.
b) Opt-in checked by default. Fuckers.
c) Opt-out checked by default. Praying on folks that uncheck anything with "opt" into it.
d) Opt-out unchecked by default. Praying on folks not paying attention.
Basically the only way you're not a spammer is probably if signing up for mail is seperate from the sign up process. The problem is, I think this is a proven way to generate more revenue so companies are not going to stop fiddling with it.
Here are the CAN SPAM rules...
. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:
Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
Infrastructure is just the pipes, not the intent.
I can't speak for them, but I've reported spam senders using other commercial senders and generally get an acknowledgement that it's looked into and they don't tolerate abuse.
And it's this kind of reason which is why we can't use the Spamcop blocklists: They block way too much legitimate e-mail because they regularly end up blocking service providers due to actions of a few of their customers.
Yeah, I really wish people would stop calling "lead generation" anything other than what it is. Spam.
This right here is why you should always get domain privacy.
However, a domain needs to have a point of contact, in case of abuse or illegal activity. Domain privacy is a valid service, where the registrar serves as a proxy for you and hides your personal information from public view.
While you could argue that it should be included as a default service, the pricing of domains is almost entirely arbitrary anyway.
I don't condone spamming, but anyone that has their email in plaintext knows what to expect.
This is what many people like Cloudflare do.
You could easily assemble it on hover or on click. And bait the bots by putting a hidden element above that if they are randomly activating events, then it disables your email display code. Or any number of tricks to make it impossible for any spammer to harvest your email unless they specifically target your script.
WHOIS isn't meant for soliciting. I don't check it regularly, and I would be surprised if any customers contacted you that way. But that's just me.
How would I generously try and interpret this as NOT providing a list of email addresses to spam? I have lost track of the number of emails we've received via my businesses 'sales@xxx' address stating "this is not spam, because we've targeted you for a particular reason". Rubbish!
Indeed. Not sure about your country, but in mine, any non solicited commercial offer via email is spam and is illegal.
There is definitely a legal way to send these emails in the USA.
Stil a great piece to read, though. It reminds me of the Plenty Of Fish story: 1/2 guys team and a 7 figures revenue
I would expect a service like this to have very high churn as people export a list and leave, so the actual recurring revenue is likely much, much lower.
40% of basic at $295 = $236k
40% of pro at $295 = $396k
20% of basic at $295 = $398k
Equals $1.03M. PER MONTH! With one staff (I think the zero staff is a stretch)
Overheads would be significant, but still, let's say they are 90%.
He is still earning $100k per month profit. Not a bad business...
In my experience, hosting is a lot more expensive than everyone thinks. That being said, choose a number - 40%, 60%, 90%.
I've never seen a business that generates THAT much revenue with such low overheads. Awesome business!
This guy's traffic would be considerably lower than ours I would think. Most of his resources are going to be going to the scanning effort. But that can run at a continuous rate around the clock, which is the most efficient way to utilize resources. And it doesn't need to be done completely quickly: it looks like he'd be fine completing a full scan in under a month. That shouldn't require particularly high-powered hardware.
So, I can't imagine this guy could possibly be spending more then $100k/month on hosting. Honestly I would be surprised if it was more than $10k. I was just trying to clear up what I saw as a misconception.
It is not real.
I run two separate profitable SaaS business. Between them, I average about one crisis per year that has me VPN'ing into the box the moment I hear about it. Other, more routine, non-site-has-been-down-a all-night events can wait until after coffee, until tomorrow, or until Monday, depending on what I'm up to at the moment.
It's one of the upsides of running your own show, getting to decide what to make a priority rather than having somebody else on the other end of your pager with a vastly different view of the value of your time
So I agree: It's so much down to priorities, and basically if your pager goes off all the time, you've likely prioritised wrong - it's false economy. Adding an extra server to get the capacity needed to prevent a total meltdown is likely going to be worth far less to you than the time and lost business those meltdowns are. And thankfully when you do things for yourself you get to make those choices.
Very cool to see that its an automated single founder saas success story. Always inspiring to hear stuff like this
If folks demand a complete answer from me, then here is the super dull list of reasons I use BuiltWith:
1. I have clients that ask me to check out XY thing on a competitor site. A lot.
2. I'm curious about tools other people use so I can learn the tech and recommend for clients
3. When bidding on a project I need to check what platform it's on
4. Doing market research for a side project (assessing e-commerce sites in a particular niche)
That's it. Mundane, non-nefarious reasons.
I never used it for prospecting, but companies like leadfuze use it to build targeted outreach campaigns that work pretty well.
All in all, i love builtwith and use their chrome extension daily.
Something is wrong with this picture.
Yes, you can do it. But it doesn't mean that someone will pay for that. People don't pay money just because your technical solution is challenging, they don't care about it. The only thing the users care is whether it gives something (e.g. saves time, provides entertainment, etc).
Apparently people are paying $1.2M/mo for that, so actually it kind of does mean that people will pay for it.
Rob [11:30]: There are two services I know that actually crawl websites and they can actually figure out what stuff is Built With. The first one is called builtwith.com and these are both SAS subscriptions and they’re not cheap but builtwith.com is the service that I know that several of the kind of outbound legion guys use and they’ll say, “Well, my competitor is X, Y, and Z and it’ll give you a list.” Now, Built With crawls certain amount of websites every so often. The second competitor is more expensive but they crawl daily. So they cannot only tell you who’s using what, they can tell you someone started a trial of this yesterday, like they just installed the code. So it’s much more powerful but they are more expensive. That service is called Data Nyze, it’s data, N-Y-Z-E.com, both of those if you’re willing to put down the money are going to be good services to find out who’s using your competitors and for full disclosure, I am a small angel investor in Data Nyze but I have seen and used the interfaces for both of those tools. So thanks for the question Ryan. - See more at: http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/episodes/episode-249-f...
It's common to send spam from countries without anti-spam laws but surely a lot of companies using this service will be in the US, etc.
Other than that, good for him. :-)
I tried google.com and google is using dotcms and webbaker for its own CMSes, interesting!
It reeks of jingoism every time we see an article in an Australian media organization about Australians 'making it on the world stage', and just induces cringe, imho. (Disclaimer: Australian living in Europe) I've never seen any positive response to this kind of pitch: its always "oh, those Australians think they're so poor, and congratulate themselves at the drop of a hat" .. I think its one of those activities that doesn't have the desired effect, at all ..
Americans are the complete opposite, we refuse to accept that we aren't the greatest country in the world, an exceptional people guided by God himself to greatness (imagine that).
Two extremes. Both have their downsides and upsides, though.
It's great for GDP overall, we just need the government to enforce that society's success can be shared among all people and not just a handful of lucky ones.
The fact that the cost of starting a business and reaching a huge audience is now a tiny fraction of what it used to be benefits us all - now we all have opportunities that were impossible before.
Far from creating inequality technology is actually proving a huge leveller: look at how much wealth has been created in the developing world over the last couple of decades.
It is ironic that capitalism is in fact driving what you claim to desire: a fairer redistribution of wealth. That it's happening at a global level however, rather than confined to nation states, means that you, as a (presumably) US citizen, are losing out to the competition overseas. But what's wrong with that? Isn't that the socialist ideal - everybody equal?
Or is wealth redistribution only fair when it's people richer than you that have to share?
IMHO this means we can do more now, so it's going to get _better_
Is it really how you see things?
That's the very definition of envy to me.
Socialism might give you good feelings, but might as well make it harder for those who were not lucky like you and count on hard work instead.
That's inequality, one I'm more concerned with.
Usually that is said in the context of economics or capitalism.
I've never heard it apply to actual politics before.
Its almost scary in the context of actual politics.
Gary Brewer. His name is Gary. He showed me it is possible. Builtwith is a standing fact. Fight club exists irl.
Sounds a little sketchy, like people looking for vulnerable software.
It's basically market research for me.