Permission To Spam?

from the don't-overdo-it dept

An interesting article directed at those who do email marketing reminding them that direct marketers and consumers have very different definitions of spam. Marketing folks go with the formal “bulk e-mail sent without recipients’ permission or a prior business relationship.” They don’t realize that, at this point, most people consider any email they don’t want as spam – and that includes things they once requested, but don’t remember or no longer care for. So, from the email marketer’s point of view, they need to realize that just because someone has given them “permission” to send emails, it doesn’t mean they should be inundated. Of course, the unfortunate truth is that many short-sighted marketers don’t seem to understand the difference between inundation marketing and smart, carefully targeted marketing.

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Comments on “Permission To Spam?”

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Faisal N. Jawdat (user link) says:

signal to noise

One of the problems I’m noticing is that of signal to noise, and how it affects perception of signal v. noise: the more spam you get, the less charitable you are towards anything that even looks like spam. Smart, carefully targetted marketing looks like all other junk mail when all your other mail is junk (and I’m guessing spam conversion rates were much higher when there wasn’t so much of it).
With the advent of adaptive spam filters, it’s getting easier to just mark mail as spam than to deal with unsubscribing, and the use of the spam filter becomes “the mail I don’t feel like dealing with filter”. Cheaper prescription drugs, pornography, your boss, your ex girlfriend: the bayes rules don’t distinguish if you set them up that way.
But for marketers, this means a new challenge: you don’t justneed to craft mail so it will slip past my filters, you need to craft mail so I actually want to read it.

Doug says:

It ALL seems pointless

Sure, unfocused spam is a waste of money. But I don’t understand “targeted marketing”, either.

First off, I don’t want to be thought of as a target. What was it that the Elephant Man said?

But anyway, I don’t want to receive “personalized” ads, either. Frankly, I don’t buy based on advertising. In fact, I generally consider advertising as being an admission that the product is unable to compete based on its inherent qualities, and thus the product being advertised is most likely inferior to unadvertised products.

Honest, straightforward listings in directories (especially online directories) are the way to get my attention. To get my business, allow independent reviews of the product (especially compared with the competition), and do well in the reviews.

If a company wants to lose my business, they need only tell me how great they think their product is and how much their competitors suck, and how much I absolutely need to have their product lest my life become a living horror.

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