Real Simple Magazine: Emailing a Dead Email Address

Real Simple magazine is mailing via Cheetahmail (a subsidiary of Experian), and is hitting an email address that has not been live since the mid 2000s.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from ( [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with SMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Thu,  6 Oct 2011 14:xx:xx -0500 (CDT)
DomainKey-Signature: <xxx>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 19:xx:xx -0000
Message-ID: <<xxx>>
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:rm-<xxx>>
From: "RealSimple" <>
To: <xxx>
Subject: Easy Halloween Decorating and Costume Ideas
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: "RealSimple" <support-<xxx>>
Content-type: multipart/alternative; boundary="=<xxx>"

Readable Email:

From: RealSimple <>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Easy Halloween Decorating and Costume Ideas
Reply-To: RealSimple <support-<xxx>>

View REAL SIMPLE email with images at<xxx>

Real Simple

Try Our Easy Halloween Ideas<xxx>

Simple Halloween Costumes for the Family<xxx>

No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating<xxx>

PLUS, Show us your best Halloween photos and vote on your favorites!


Click below for more information on how to opt-out of marketing
communications from us and our partners, or copy and paste this link
into your browser:<xxx>

Please read our Privacy Policy, or copy and paste this link into your

Real Simple Customer Service
Attn: Consumer Affairs
3000 University Center Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612-6408

One Response to Real Simple Magazine: Emailing a Dead Email Address

  1. And, two months later, Real Simple Magazine is (not surprisingly) *still* emailing that address. That isn’t necessarily a sign of deliberate spam on their part or of not caring about spam on their ESP’s part, of course. This is a single report of a single spamtrap hit.

    Many single spamtrap hits are due to things other than deliberate spamming: most don’t happen because a company purchases a list and sends opt-out bulk email to it, or because the company hired an e-append service to find email addresses and match them to a customer list. Many (probably most) single spamtrap hits are instead due to failure to confirm subscriptions that were originally entered on web sites or typed into the database from business cards or (even more problematic) handwritten lists.

    In addition, there are old/closed email addresses that may have originally asked for the email. Unfortunately not all bulk email lists are properly managed. Disabling an email address for a year should be sufficient to get it off of all bulk email lists, but sometimes isn’t. Some companies ignore bounced email. Others let lists lie fallow for years and then try to send email to them. Both of these are bad practices, but I think it’s stretching a point to call them deliberate spam.

    Unfortunately these companies who are often not deliberately spamming drop a great deal of electronic garbage into the mail stream because they are ignorant of proper list management practices, careless, or are more interested in sending email to somebody who might be interested than in not bothering those who are not.

    This is a frustrating problem for those of us who try to keep the email stream reasonably clean.

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