Today a few new spams made it through to my InBoxer-Review folder (I use InBoxer on my personal computer to filter out my spam in addition to the other tools we use here at LandlordMax). Normally spam emails are very obvious and easy to spot (especially if you seen thousands and thousands of them), but one caught my attention tonight. It was dubious from the start, and once I saw the link (it was an IP address rather than a domain) I knew for sure it was a Trojan Horse. For those of you who don’t know what this is, a Trojan Horse is: “is a program that installs malicious software while under the guise of doing something else” according to Wikipedia.
What’s making me write about this particular spam email is the guise under which it operates. If it made me think twice, a computer professional, I can’t help but think how many non-computer savvy people will fall prey to it. The first one I noticed was:
Subject: “Beta testers needed!”
“Please give us a hand with our new software development Gardening Master
This beta testing will enable us to fine tune the software for public release. For helping out, you will receive a free edition and 5 years of updates.
Just download the program, Check it out, and let us know your opinion. If you would like to help us with this no obligation Beta test, follow this link to our secure download server:”
This is dangerous because Beta Testing is fairly common in the software industry. A lot of computer software companies offer some select members of the public a free license of their software in exchange for being part of a beta testing group. Before LandlordMax was initially launched we beta tested with some select individuals in exchange for free licenses.
The next email I received read:
Subject: “New Software needs Beta testers”
Please give us a hand with our new software development Cooking Helper
Your help will get us ready for our market release. A free copy of the program plus free updates will be yours for helping out.
Just download the program, Check it out, and let us know your opinion. If you want to participate, just follow the link to our download site:
Very smart. Slightly different wording (Multivariate testing). But what’s really interesting is that they’re not just trying different wordings, but also different types of software applications for beta testing. In the first case it was a gardening software, in the second it was a cooking helper software. Very smart. They’re testing different messages with different types of software applications to see which ones are more effective.
I have a suspect that this particular approach will be more effective than their usual tactics as of late because of several reasons. One, it’s newer and different. Two, it’s not the usual garble of characters and words. And mainly for reason three, they seem to offer something that people have heard of (Beta Testing) for a program they may want. Very smart. Hopefully it won’t be too prolific and infect too many computers.
By the way as a quick marketing lesson, if spammers are using Multivariate testing it’s probably effective.