Dylan the spammer (and his babies)

So, I got this little bit o' spam today:

Dear, Acting Classes with Nick Conti

Your listing on gomylocal is being updated, please review and check that your details are correct.

Acting Classes with Nick Conti
Atlanta, GA 30305

"Rewriting the book on local search"

With our new site additions, you now have the flexibility to manage your own listing! With a login to your own dashboard you can edit your details whenever you like.

Wishing you all the best with your business,

The gomylocal Team
“Your local business directory”

Because I know Nick, and because I'm not Nick, I was intrigued as to why the hell I was getting spam about listing him in some sort of directory. But more than that, I was annoyed, because this was the FIFTH time I'd received the exact same email.

So I replied:

Joe Peacock wrote:

Hi there,

Please die in a fire. Or, failing that, don't send me this crap again.


I didn't think much of it when I did it. Occasionally, I'll bait a spammer just to see if they reply, but in this case, I was mostly just gambling that a real person was behind the scheme and that, perhaps, my email would get him to knock it the fuck off.

Well... It kinda worked:

Dylan wrote:

Hi Joe,

Please accept my apologies for the unannounced email.

Gomylocal is an online Yellow Pages and Local Business Directory. We list your business as a free service, along with approximately 15 million other businesses nationwide.

We do acknowledge that some of our data is in need of an update, so this was the reason for our email to you (we have sent the same email to over approximately 2 million other businesses also).

Please rest assured that our email was not intended to harm you or mislead you in any way,

Regarding me dieing in a fire, i am sure my babies would be a little upset by that... thanks for your kind words!

Kind regards,

Dylan [withheld]

It strikes me immediately that, while the rest of the entire email is spelled and punctuated correctly, the line about "dieing" in the fire and his babies lacks such attention to detail - so I'm CERTAIN this is a prefab response to people demanding they be removed from the list, and he just tacked on his own personal message (and no, i'm not going to reprint his email and full name here... Not yet, anyway. Last time I did that, the MI forum people destroyed this poor spammer guy, and I kinda feel bad for Dylan here... Unless he spams me again. Then, the wolves shall be unleashed)

So I wrote him back and let him know where I stood:

Joe Peacock wrote:


While I wouldn't want any harm to befall your family, I will say that blind marketing (in some circles, called "spamming") is not exactly smiled upon, especially by those of us who have been around this here interweb thingy long enough to have had enough of it to build fires for people to die in. Please know that I want to exclude your family from any wishes of flame-related demise. They're fine people, Dylan. Fine people.

As a person, outside of your chosen career, I'm sure you're a fine guy as well. I don't know you, but in my mind's eye, you're quite the 'ultimate frisbee' player and a gifted saxaphonist. I'd probably like very much to have you over for barbecue in the warmer months. Please keep up the good work on that front.

As it stands, you've chosen a path of job fulfillment that - in 2008 - you should know adds to the pain and misery of daily internet life. There's no way that today, January 23, 2008, you could possibly NOT know that blind marketing via email isn't regarded the way, say, a cute puppy wandering up to you in the park would be; or the way a stray 20 dollar bill is regarded as it floats on a light breeze across a Circuit City parking lot and, by chance, hits your sneaker.

This is why I reacted so hastily with my wish that you be consumed by flame. But note - I did say that, short of that, I hope you'd stop sending me crap. And there's still time to do that, Dylan.

There is still time.

As a marketing professional, I cannot advocate highly enough that you find a few books by the remarkable Seth Godin and check in on them, especially Permission Marketing. It's a great tome that can be downloaded for absolutely free, and might give you some ideas on how to better reach target markets without frustratingly annoying email that was sent to a purchased (and woefully incorrect) distribution list.

I hold out hope for you, sir. My best to your babies.

Joe Peacock

Who knows. Maybe I'll reach this poor, misguided man... Because really, no baby deserves to be raised by a spammer.