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May 25, 2010



Those are all different ways to ensure that the press release gets to you, and not your spam filter. Spammers get more sophisticated every month, and the people who create anti-spam programs are constantly adding new functions and keywords.

Looking at your list above, your preferred method is the one most likely to end up in a junk box. Sending a hyperlink is one solution, but you're depending on the reader to click through, which isn't ideal. Same for a PDF. However, most email clients will actually display an embedded JPEG image in the email itself, which is probably why Rapidform is going that route. It's a pretty common practice in the ecommerce world.

When I worked for circuitcity.com, one of the things our email marketing team always had to be cognizant for was the size of the images embedded in their weekly emails.


I understand your issues, but I think variety is best. For CADwire, I'd acturally prefer them in the opposite order as you. I'm more interested in posting links.

Messages containing links get posted right away. But most email releases I get have only the release posted in the body of the message. I then have to go find that release on the net and post a link to that page. That takes time and therefore gets a lower priority on our end.

If they send us a PDF for a release that has no corresponding web page, I'll put that PDF on our site and link to it there.

But the emailed releases with no corresponding link don't give us enough options...


Another reason why spammers use jpegs is so that they can detect who is reading their spam -- so that they can sell your email address to other spammers, and send you more spam!

Steve Johnson

If the JPG is an attachment rather than a link or remotely hosted image, there's not going to be any way for them to tell if the recipient read it. There are apparently people who still have their email clints set to display remotely hosted images by default, so I guess that's who this tactic is aimed at. I filter all incoming email with Mailwasher anyway, so in my case it's just going to get deleted from the mail server before download and not waste my bandwidth.

Due to some recent events, I went sniffing around on a fact-checking mission on a well-known torrent site. In the Legal section on that site, there are several examples of takedown notices and mocking replies from the site managers. Regardless of whether I approve of the site, it was still quite amusing to see grandstanding lawyers being mercilessly mocked and insulted.

One example was a letter from a lawyer, sent for some unknown reason as a PDF. The reply was a 1 MB BMP file of a hand-scrawled note saying something like, "We can communicate using annoying formats, too!"

Tom Charron


This is Tom Charron from Rapidform. Thanks for the catch on this. I will get with our marketing team in Seoul and relay your preference about receiving press releases. I myself am a bit puzzled as to why we'd send this as a JPEG, which can't be easily quoted/reposted.


My preference would also be email or doc. JPEG doesn't allow for easy copy and paste of quotes.

Tom Charron

Well, this is interesting. I spoke to our marketing people in Seoul, and they said they send a JPEG along with a link to a Word file because tenlinks asks for it that way. Anyway, we will now send releases as email body text, with a link to a JPEG.

Tom Charron
Rapidform Inc.

Nancy Johnson, Cadalyst

Ralph, I missed this when you posted it originally but would like to add my 2 cents. I also receive dozens (and dozens) of press releases daily, and my preferences are exactly in line with yours. I need to determine within seconds whether news is relevant to Cadalyst, and that's usually only possible if the text of the press release is included in the body of the message -- unless, of course, the PR person is super wonderful and has included a summary for me.

But why make this an either/or choice? Why not send the attachment, the link to the online version, and the full embedded text? Including the URL and the full text adds very little to the message size.

Other deterrents I commonly find: Generic subject lines such as "Press Release," and when a company issues a release before information about the new thing is published on its web site. My readers (and I) should be able to follow up online to get details beyond what's in the PR.

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