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I set up my mailing list a few months ago and it’s been inundated with spam sign-ups. Even with a double opt-in there are far far more sign-ups from email addresses that I think are spam.

Reasons I think they’re spam:
1) Overly complicated email addresses I could never imagine you telling someone over the phone and them getting correct
2) Vast majority are which is not my target audience
3) Email addresses that don’t match the name given
4) Most of them don’t open emails I send, but when they do they click on every single link in the email (including the multiple unsubscribe links, without unsubscribing)
5) The stats on my sign-up form are 63 visitors and 213 sign-ups
6) I googled a few of the email addresses and they were flagged as spam by other services

So I have cleared out the addresses I think are spam. I’ve also added another box to the sign-up form asking for your favourite colour. This is because the bots don’t see the input text question, they just see that it’s tagged as a name field. So they repeat whatever spurious name they’ve entered rather than a colour. So that’s why the sign-up form asks for your favourite colour!

I am investigating how to add recaptcha into the sign-up procedure, as a way to stop these addresses getting onto my list. Which probably means I have to change which service I use for my mailing list. So, the sooner I do that the better! For anyone who has already signed up – don’t worry I can just transfer your details across. For anyone who hasn’t signed up you please sign up now!

Edited 18th Oct to add that I have now switched over to a different mailing list system that includes recaptcha, so I no longer ask for a favourite colour. All links should have been updated!

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