Posts Tagged ‘contest’

How to Properly Use 3rd Party Web Services

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Today I got an email marketing message from Fido, my cellphone provider.


Unfortunately, Fido used a third party email and contest manager that makes me unsure if the email is real or a scam.

The email “from” line looks good:

But it’s trivial to fake a “from” line.

The email “reply-to”: fido.communication(xxxxxx)

I removed the x’s which I suspect are unique to my email address and used for mail list management.  It doesn’t really matter.  Is this address confidence inspiring to the non-technical user? Nope.

Worse, the email is about a contest.  In the email there is a link to enter the contest:

What is  And why should I enter my phone and other info into a website that doesn’t even spell conversation properly? (That’s a joke, I realize it’s a cute mispelling used for a website name).  Sure, there are Fido logos in the email and on the web page.  But who knows?  I’ve seen fake bank websites that also look authentic.  It’s easy to copy logos and verbage.

In the end, I decided to skip this contest.  Who knows if it’s a real contest or not.  Besides, I never win prizes anyway.

What should companies do?  Use their own domain for everything because they’re much harder to use fraudulently.  If they choose to outsource bulk email, use a provider that can use “” for their messages.  For contests?  “”.  For surveys, “”.

In fact, that’s exactly what we offer with the custom survey domain feature of  We have several clients who host surveys using a subdomain of their primary domain.

It works for everyone.  The end survey respondents are confident that the survey is legitimately from our customer.  Our customers are happy that their survey respondents are confident, and thus willing to answer the survey.  And we’re happy to have paying customers.

So there you go.  A rant and an advertisment for one of our websites all rolled into one.  Not bad for a Friday afternoon.