Ahern Associates: Emailing a Purchased or Email Appended List?

Transportation management consulting company Ahern & Associates, which provides expert advice on the trucking industry in the United States, is emailing weekly newsletters to several spamtraps. The ESP is Pinpointe.

As spamtrap collections go in the antispam world, mine is small to medium in size. A company that manages to hit five of my spamtraps is either both careless and unlucky in its bulk email management practices, or is emailing a purchased or email appended list. None of the spamtraps that Ahern has emailed for the past several months has ever belonged to an Ahern customer, and it is implausible that any of them ever requested email from Ahern. It is also not possible that the spamtrap to which the sample spam below was sent could have opted in in 2012, as the company that last owned that domain shut down in the early 2000s.

Pinpointe’s own policy regarding purchased lists could not be clearer. The following quote was taken from their web site this morning:

There is no such thing as a ‘purchased opt-in list.’ So if you purchased an email list of any kind, please do not upload it to Pinpointe or plan to send email to those contacts through Pinpointe, as this is a violation of our Anti-SPAM policy and you will not be eligible for a refund when your service is cancelled. (Full policy is here.)

Although the policy does not explicitly mention email appending, I can’t imagine that Pinpointe would take any kinder a view of email appended lists, given that emailing an appended list clearly constitutes emailing a list of email addresses that did not opt in to receive that email.

I look forward to Pinpointe taking action against the activities of their spamming customer.

Sending IP: &

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from mta2195.pptsend03.com (mta2195.pptsend03.com [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:##:## -0500 (CDT)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
Received: from <xxx>.mypinpointe.com ( by mta2195.pptsend03.com id <xxx> 
        for <xxx>; Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:##:## -0700 
        (envelope-from <bounce-<xxx>@pptsend03.com>)
Subject: Successor Planning - Pt 2
To: <xxx>
From: "Ahern & Associates Ltd." <ahern@ahern-ltd.com>
Reply-To: ahern@ahern-ltd.com
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:##:## -0700
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Report-Abuse: This header is here to help us track abuse. Please report abuse for this campaign here:
X-Report-Abuse: http://na04.mypinpointe.com/feedbackloop.php?<xxx>
X-Report-Abuse-LID: <xxx>
X-Report-Abuse-RecptId: <xxx>
X-Report-Abuse-SID: <xxx>
X-Report-Abuse-Sent-By: <xxx>
X-Feedback-ID: <xxx>
List-Unsubscribe: <http://na04.mypinpointe.com/unsubscribe.php?<xxx>>, <mailto:leave+?<xxx>@<xxx>.mypinpointe.com>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; charset="UTF-8"; boundary="b1_<xxx>"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Message-ID: <<xxx>@<xxx>.mypinpointe.com>

Readable Email:

From: Ahern & Associates Ltd. <ahern@ahern-ltd.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Successor Planning – Pt 2

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Last week, I discussed the challenges facing many privately owned trucking companies;

  • How do you exit the business?
  • How do you determine who the business should be sold to?
  • How do you begin the process?

Assuming you have decided that it is time to develop an exit strategy, before you go much further, you have to determine the value of the business.


©2012 Ahern & Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
AHERN & ASSOCIATES, LTD., 2198 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 210 • Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tel: 602-242-1030 | Fax: 602-242-4855 | www.ahern-ltd.com
Click here to view our weekly podcasts.

Accredited Member NBCC

This email was sent to <xxx>. You are receiving this email because you are an Ahern customer, or you subscribed to our email list. You subscribed on: ## <xxx> 2012. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list.

One Response to Ahern Associates: Emailing a Purchased or Email Appended List?

  1. I just heard from Craig Stouffer at Pinpointe, who apparently was Googling and came across this blog. Pinpointe fired this customer shortly after the spam run for violations of its terms and conditions. As Stouffer pointed out, and as I blogged in January 2015, Ahern then moved its activities to Vertical Response.

    This is a good place to remind people that one mention on the Mainsleaze blog does not mean either that a company is a deliberate spammer (mistakes happen) or that an ESP is spam-friendly. In this case, Ahern was obviously determined to spam, but Pinpointe did not agree to be part of it. When Pinpointe learned about the spam, they fired the customer.

    Pinpointe presumably didn’t see this blog and therefore did not respond to it til now. Not all ESPs monitor this blog, strange though that might seem. 😉 However, Pinpointe’s published policy on their website, which we quoted in the blog, clearly forbids customers to use Pinpointe’s services to spam. Pinpointe also did exactly the right thing in response to a customer that violated its rules and was unwilling to stop doing so.

    Any ESP gets bad customers that spam in spite of their terms and conditions, just as any ISP does.

    When you read this blog, and see an ESP mentioned, remember to look for what the ESP did about that particular spam problem, and (more importantly) what their overall reputation is. Then you’re using the information here intelligently, and as it was intended to be used.

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