Bogus engagement emails


Sadly bogus outreach/engagement emails are picking up again – here’s a recent example:

If purports to be a forwarded-on email from the CEO to an assistant, who forwards it on to me… with the goal of locking in a call.


  • apart from the giveaway that it is sent from ActiveCampaign and has a mass email unsubscribe link
  • it has no timestamp on the supposed initial email
  • simply checking the original email option in Gmail will show it is a single email – there’s no forwarding chain.

Plus a friend of mine and I both received it at the same time (ie obviously automated).

Ian and I first mentioned this email outreach ‘hack’ back in Shot 7 of HubShots episode 133 in August 2018. Back then it was a much better example – much harder to confirm since they were actually single emails (ie not mass broadcast campaigns) – but even then we were dubious about it.

The issue is that it is deliberately misleading (perhaps even dishonest), and whilst it might have a window of time where it works, ultimately it reflects badly on you as being spammy and disingenuous.

Note: one could potentially argue that most company mass emailing is ‘dishonest’ – after all they are often written by the marketing team and sent on behalf of the CEO, without the CEO ever even reviewing them (let alone writing them). But I feel this is a different scenario – and one that people accept – ie they aren’t mislead by it. My issue with the example at the top is that it is deliberately misleading, to the point of contriving to have been a forwarded email.

One final comment: Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for continually testing new ideas – just don’t let your integrity levels slide.

Do you agree?

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