Coldwater Creek: Spamming a Purchased or Email Appended List

Today clothing retailer Coldwater Creek emailed about a dozen spamtraps with a sales announcement. About a third of those spamtraps were probable typos. Several others were repurposed spamtraps, some of them not live for well over a decade. One was a pristine spamtrap at a domain that has never had a legitimate email address. The ESP was the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SMC), previously known of as ExactTarget.

The number of spamtrap hits that I saw from this sender was not that unusual; I have a large spamtrap collection. The variety was telling, however, as was the hit on a non-typoed pristine spamtrap. Most telling, that spamtrap is found in the email appending databases used by at least two large sellers of lists and email appending services, one of which is Data.com, formerly Jigsaw. Guess who owns Data.com? Salesforce.

I recognize that the presence of my pristine spamtrap on this customer’s list could be a coincidence. The customer could have bought a list or obtained email appending services from some other source. That spamtrap is on a number of lists for sale and in a number of email appending databases. If Coldwater Creek bought a list and did not tell the people at SMC about it, but violated the terms and conditions of their contract, then SMC can simply breach them or take whatever action seems appropriate in the circumstances.

I would really hate to see an ESP that at one time had a decent reputation abandon its requirement that mailings be opt-in, however. As long as ExactTarget insisted on decent practices from its customers, I and others in the antispam community chose to ignore the fact that its parent company Salesforce is a list seller and provider of email append services through another of its businesses. This does not mean that we were unaware of this fact, or will continue to ignore it if SMC does not uphold the standards that we came to expect of ExactTarget when it was ExactTarget.

Sending IPs: 136.147.130.243, 136.147.134.200, 136.147.134.201,
136.147.131.29, & 136.147.131.30

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from mta4.emailcoldwatercreek.com (mta4.emailcoldwatercreek.com [136.147.131.29])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:##:## +0000 (UTC)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
Received: by mta4.emailcoldwatercreek.com id <xxx> for <xxx>; 
        Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:##:## +0000 
        (envelope-from <bounce-<xxx>@bounce.emailcoldwatercreek.com>)
From: "Coldwater Creek" <shop@emailcoldwatercreek.com>
To: <xxx>
Subject: 20% Off New Styles + CLEARANCE Up to 80% Off
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 08:##:## -0600
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:leave-<xxx>@leave.emailcoldwatercreek.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: "Coldwater Creek Customer Service" <reply-<xxx>@emailcoldwatercreek.com>
x-job: <xxx>
Message-ID: <xxx>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
        boundary="<xxx>"

Readable Email:

From: Coldwater Creek <shop@emailcoldwatercreek.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: 20% Off New Styles + CLEARANCE Up to 80% Off

COLDWATER CREEK
Standard Shipping Now $8 on All Orders + Up to 80% Off CLEARANCE

<removed>

To ensure delivery of Coldwater Creek emails to your inbox, please add shop@emailcoldwatercreek.com to your Email Address Book or Safe List.

Sent By Coldwater Direct LLC.

If you have any questions, we’re happy to take your call 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-888-678-5576.

You may also contact us at the following address:

Coldwater Creek c/o TG 5389 East Provident Dr Cincinnati, OH 45246

One-Click Unsubscribe
http://click.emailcoldwatercreek.com/?<xxx>

Change Your Email Subscription
http://click.emailcoldwatercreek.com/?<xxx>

<removed>

2 Responses to Coldwater Creek: Spamming a Purchased or Email Appended List

  1. Mickey Chandler

    Ouch.

    I can assure you that our standards haven’t changed here.

    Let me look into this.

  2. Cool. 🙂 That’s what I wanted to hear. Let me know if you need additional information from me.

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