For years spam artists have used “Re:” in subject lines to trick people into opening an email. People will open the email because they think it is a reply to an email they sent. Many phishing attempts use this tactic.
Here are some examples I’ve received in the past few days:
Re: HomeDepot Replacement-Windows-Special
Re: AUTO-DEALS — Cars-Below Kelly-Blue Book Value
RE: Your-Energy Bill-was recently-lowered-by 80%
Re: Automobile Bonanza Sales
A sleazy PR and marketing spam tactic
Sadly, many public relations agencies and marketing firms are now using this deceitful method. They’ll send pitches disguised as a reply to a message.
The sender specifically designs these emails to be confusing. Yes, in normal use “Re:” means “in regards to.” However, at the beginning of an email subject line, the only correct use of “Re:” is in reply to an email.
PR people, have you no shame?
Here are a few emails I’ve received in the past week or so:
Re: What’s the “Secret Sauce” to Social Media Marketing?
RE: Story Idea: 5 Steps to Make Your Ad ‘Go Viral’
RE: Interested in featuring ‘The Value of Coupons in Digital Marketing’ [Infographic]
RE: Hope you received my last email
RE: Mad Men vs. Mad Math: How Data (Not Dimensions) is the Future of Online Advertising (Web Ink Now)
Re: Update on social media content optimization survey
What do you think? Am I overreacting? I’m sure I’m not the only person who deletes these things unread.
A version of this article first appeared on David Meerman Scott’s website, WebInkNow.com.