This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to send an email that says "it's really me"

I love getting emails from my friends. And I get a lot. But many times it's just a scam emailer pretending to be my friend. There's nothing stopping someone from using a name that I know and sending me an email (and I really have no way of remembering all of my friends' actual email addresses). This how it works: It usually has the name of my friend and then a short remark like "I know you'd like to see this" and the scam link. The image at the top of this post, although it may look suspicious, is genuine, and I can tell, but it's kinda iffy.

If you've been noticing this, you may want to act more human. Here are a few things that you can do:

• Write the email like you write a letter, with a salutation, and sign it. I like to say "Hi Bob" at the top of the email and I write "Brad" at the end of the email. But that's just a start, because just using the names Brad and Bob doesn't really mean that it's a genuine email from your friend Bob or Brad. But it's a good place to start. A lot of the scam emails are written like texts, as if someone just saw something and dashed off a note.

• Write something that you and your friend know about. I'm famous for using the term "Enjoy!" and I notice that my friends realize that. It's a goofy personal quirk, and since I write to Bob often and say "Enjoy" when I send him links, I know that it's really Bob. I like to add a line or two that my friends would know could only come from me, and it gives me a chance to remind them that I love going history adventuring, or going to get burgers at Gallaghers. Or the Chuckbox!

• Avoid statements like "It's really me". This may sound genuine, but it's typical spam email behavior. The bad guys know that everyone is receiving questionable emails with links, so putting in a line like that would just make sense to the scammers.

I'm in business, so I get hundreds of junk emails every day. Most of them are filtered by my email program, and the rest I have to glance at and evaluate very quickly. And there is something so wonderfully reassuring, and human, about an email from a friend that it's very welcome. So please so write to me, and be human, and friendly.