Posted by Colleen Frye & filed under Digital Marketing, Local.

This is something we address regularly with our clients. It can be tough for folks to determine if a no-obligation audit email is actually legitimate. Do you know how to tell if an audit email that you received is spam or not?

Every month, we receive a forwarded email from our clients that says something along the lines of, ‘I received this free audit, do we need to do anything with the information enclosed’. We are 100% confident in the work that we do for our clients, so we have no qualms when a client sends us this information! However, more often than not, the ‘free audit’ that they send us rarely contains factual, helpful information for our client.

In fact, we received one from a client just last week –

example of a free audit spam email

After going through the report, we found that most of the information was inaccurate and it was just a way to show the client all these supposed errors and get them to contact her. Luckily, he sent this to me right away to help him determine if it was legitimate or not.

But how do we know when an audit is spam and more just a way to get a business owner to go into a state of panic? There are a few telltale signs that you can look for when analyzing these solicitation type emails.

Hint #1 – It Comes From a Gmail Address

Almost all reputable organizations will have an email address associated with their domain name – especially those folks trying to sell a service online. If you receive an audit from a Gmail address, it’s safe to say it’s spam.

Hint #2 – It’s An Automated Report

Like the situation above, the client received a generic automated report where you could tell that the business did a quick search using their company name and came back with all sorts of errors according to their system. This is a sure sign that the person didn’t put anytime into solicitation and was just using it as a scare tactic.

Hint #3 – Domain In the Salutation Or Subject

The email is addressed impersonally – i.e. ‘To the business owner at (domain name). This typically means that the scammer is bulk emailing addresses that have been pulled from websites by bots. In the example below, you can see the email address was included in the subject line.

Hint #4 – Lack of Information

This is one we see a lot….It’s just an email that says your website needs help, you’re not showing up in search results, the audit looks terrible, yada yada. If the person doesn’t take the time to include their contact information skip right over this one.

If you received a report and need help deciphering it, we’re always here to help our clients! If you’ve received an audit that holds merit and you’re not a client of ours yet, we can help with that too! Contact Upright Communications to get started!