Viagra: it’s something which happens to most of us. You’re browsing through your inbox and then suddenly there’s an advert there for Viagra staring you in the face.
OK – I get that. Someone is sending out millions of e-mails; safe in the knowledge that even if they get a tiny percentage of respondents, it will have been worthwhile. I actually get relatively few spam e-mails either at home or work, so it’s never really been a hassle for me.
What I am starting to receive more frequently (especially at work) is the empty spam e-mail. No content whatsoever. Even inspecting the message body to try and work out if there’s something my e-mail client isn’t displaying turns up no answers.
So what use can an empty spam e-mail actually be to anyone (including the spammers)? It’s useless as marketing tool: the only information you’re receiving is the sender’s address, which is usually faked and not that of the real originator. So you can’t advertise or sell something a la little blue tablets. It’s useless as a tool to test for valid e-mail addresses: if an initial empty e-mail gets through, then what do you send as a follow-up? You might as well have sent a content-laden spam e-mail in the first place. Also, there’s no images for the user to download and indicate this is a valid and monitored e-mail account.
So what are empty e-mails really for? Any suggestions?
As a footnote to this blog entry, I had to do a quick Google search to confirm Viagra tablets were blue and not purple. Congratulations Ian, you’ve just done a search for Viagra on your work laptop.