Semi-automated spam e-mails on content I publish on my blog
For a year or so, I have been receiving e-mails that never land into spam, come from different people at different companies, and always appear legit at first. All e-mails are about linking them on my blog posts (non-commercial, personal website).
At first, I just ignored them and thought they were "usual" spam. I noticed that they sometimes follow up (to my silence) and add details that make these e-mails seem written by humans with a real wish to exchange links. So I started silently observing these e-mails. What I noticed:
- E-mails do not land into spam. Valid DKIM and all.
- The e-mail address they write to is my personal one, which can not be automatically generated from the domain (in terms of words, they are addressed to my domain, though) or any element of my posts. So, they actually look it up.
- These companies are not famous but are apparently legit. Their e-mail content matches the topic of my post rather well, and their e-mail matches both their content and my topic. Sometimes they provide a tool/service to solve a problem I blogged about, sometimes it is a non-IT related service to general consumers. Sometimes, it is a post that is about my same topic. They are not even always selling something. I have even received requests to link to free tools.
- I blog about very different topics, many of which are not even in the same domain of interest (IT and non-IT), and I receive e-mails related to all of them.
- E-mails are always worded differently, so they appear to come from different people. They are written in good English, yet they follow the same flow (more on it below).
- My blog is far from being a successful website. It is a typical blog. There is no advantage being linked from my blog. I am no one.
These e-mails are worded differently, but basically have this flow:
- Greetings to my name + generic sentence like "hope you are doing well".
- Acknowledgment to my post with its URL, plus 2-3 sentences summarizing its main content. No copy-pastes.
- Some sentences on who they are and what they do that matches my post.
- A polite request to put a link to their tool/service, either "because it is a good match" or to exchange links.
To that e-mail I receive 1 to 2 follow ups as replies, all of which flow the same:
- Acknowledgment that I have not replied.
- Polite request to put the link.
Has this ever happened to you, and what do do you think has started this?
Also, do you know how it works? These e-mails look so legit, yet so similar. It would appear that they are sent by a human but are prepared in a semi-automated way.
Edit: forgot to add. One of these added that they would go ahead and comment below the post, then actually did. With a legit-looking comment and (of course) a link to their content.