Press Releases

Mailshell Extends Its Free Anti-Spam Service to Protect Users From Any Source of Junk Email

Email 'Caller ID' Guarantees Unsubscribe Requests

SANTA CLARA, CA - July 9, 2001 - Mailshell, the free service that prevents junk email, today launched a major enhancement to its service that makes managing email relationships and preventing junk email easier than ever before.

Mailshell users can now choose a custom email domain name to create unique, spam-free email addresses wherever they go. For example, a user can enter amazon@(personal domain).com for an account with Amazon, ebay@(personal domain).com when using eBay, or give out family@(personal domain).com for family-related email. Incoming email is forwarded to the user's private email address or saved on Mailshell's Web-based email system, whichever the user prefers.

Mailshell's patent-pending technology acts like a 'Caller ID' system for email so people can 'unsubscribe' from any list, person or company at any time. By creating a unique email identity for each party with whom they do business, Mailshell users can automatically recognize the sender of commercial email. If users don't like what they receive, they can simply unsubscribe by checking a box.

Among the best ways of preventing junk email is to treat an email address like a credit card number, revealing it rarely and judiciously. To help users subscribe wisely, Mailshell offers a detailed directory of more than 100,000 of the Internet's best email newsletters, offers and services.

Mailshell highlights, organizes, reviews and provides samples of each so users are properly informed before subscribing. Mailshell does not share the user's private email address with anyone. Instead, it serves as a middleman between users and their various email relationships, signing users up with an alias to protect their privacy.

Mailshell's new feature lets users enjoy this same level of protection when sending or receiving email from any list, newsletter or person even if it is not currently listed in the Mailshell directory, essentially making Mailshell protection portable.

"Most people either can't find the newsletters or content they want, or can't easily unsubscribe from things they no longer want,'' said Tonny Yu, founder and CEO of Mailshell. "You can spend hours sending emails, visiting Web sites and filling out forms anytime you want to be removed from a list.

"Since anyone who already has your email address can send you anything they want at any time for any reason, even if you're eventually able to unsubscribe from one list, spammers may already have sold your email address to other spammers.''

The process is similar to the old trick in which magazine subscribers enter a different middle initial on magazine subscription forms to track the source of resulting junk mail and telemarketing phone calls. Some email users employ a similar tactic by creating new free email addresses when their existing email box becomes overwhelmed with spam.

Mailshell makes this ad hoc process explicit, simple and manageable. The service can also automatically unsubscribe users from a list after a specified period of time. This allows users to try a list or service for a few days.

"The best way to prevent junk email is to use a new email address every time you're asked for your email address,'' added Yu. "Mailshell makes this simple, easy and free.''

The service is free to users and the company charges marketers for long-term subscribers and sales leads. Companies pay Mailshell for each user that opts-in for a product or service. By providing samples and reviews of commercial email content, Mailshell efficiently matches commercial email senders to recipients, enabling a more targeted exchange of information.

Users have the freedom to receive only the content to which they wish to subscribe, while senders have the confidence of knowing they are gaining the attention of an interested, qualified audience.

Mailshell was recently dubbed "priceless'' by Forbes magazine and among "the best ways to organize your email'' and "the best ways to stop spam'' by The Wall Street Journal. In an effort to promote a sustainable infrastructure for commercial email, Mailshell created and advocates 10 'mailrights' ( designed to balance the needs of email users and marketers.

Mailshell was founded in January 1999. The company is based in Santa Clara, with an additional office in San Francisco.

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