How To Tell If Email Is Legit Or Spam  
By Pam Jones

We all receive a multitude of email in our inbox that we would rather not receive. Some of this email look like it is legit and may be stating that our subscription is about to expire, when you didnít subscribe in the first place, etc. Some may be requesting a link exchange saying that they are emailing you from the web site. The message looks fairly personalizedÖit even has your web site address in the messageÖbut it is a prepared letter that has been constructed with software and sent to a bulk list.

Here are a few tricks I use to determine whether a message is spam or not.

Subject line

This is usually the first clue that a message is spam. Anything to do with adult activity, making money fast and the like gets deleted right away-delete

From Field

After receiving the same messages from the same place, you can tell by looking at the To field that you donít want to read any messages from that person or place-delete.

To Field

I have specific email addresses that I use. If the email has been sent to and it is an address I donít use, I know it is spam-delete. I have specific email addresses that I use.

Many times a catchall email account is set up for domain email so that domain owners have an unlimited number of email addresses at their disposal for various uses. This mail is usually forwarded to the main email address. I do use aliases for specific purposes. I know which email addresses I use and which ones I donít. I also know what the purposes of those addresses are. If the email isnít appropriate for that address-delete.


Most of the time you can tell by reading the first sentence whether you want to continue reading the message or delete it. If the opening says ĎDear Sir/Madamí, Dear Clearwater Web Solutions, or anything else that is not Dear Pam it usually gets deleted. Once in a great while I will receive a message that gets read even though it is not directly addressed to me.

If a message has gotten this far it usually gets read to some degree. Most of the messages get deleted long before it gets to this stage. If someone has taken the time to go to my site and address a message to Dear Pam and has used the email from the site, I will have the courtesy to read their message and respond.

Quite frequently I will receive a message from a sender stating that they are emailing me from the web site. I know they are not because I have a few tricks up my sleeve to set apart bulk email from legit. If someone is actually emailing me from the site the email address in the To field will be the one I use on the siteÖ.but the subject line will also be a tell-tale sign that the sender is really sending mail from the site.

Whenever someone clicks on my email link the email message always contains specific text in the Subject line that most likely would never appear any place else. So if someone is using bulk mail, this text would not show up in the subject line of the message. I know they are not sending the mail from my site and their message gets deleted right away.

You donít have to spend hours reading every single message that comes into your inbox. It takes me just a second or two to decide whether to keep a message or not. 


Pam Jones specializes in offering quality information and services that will keep you on the right track with your online marketing to help you increase your profits. Visit the Internet Marketing Resource Center at, for tips, tools, resources and helpful articles. Or find out about web hosting, website design or redesign, domain name research & registration, online marketing & promotion and website maintenance services at affordable prices for small to medium sized businesses at Clearwater Web Solutions at


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