Now That Plaxo Spam Has Annoyed Enough People, It's Time To Fade It Out?

from the dubious-reasons dept

For years, plenty of people have complained repeatedly about the scourge of "Plaxo spam." These are the constant bombardment of emails from new Plaxo users who have you in their address book, asking you to update your contact info. Often (at least in my case) these came from people I did not actually know -- and the worst offenders had the system send out such an email on a regular basis. Every time people complain about this online, however, a representative from Plaxo shows up to point out that you wouldn't get this spam if you just signed up and used Plaxo's software. This response has obvious problems, as it's essentially saying "we're going to bug you until you sign up." The company did finally offer a global opt-out after a lot of complaints, but it still put the responsibility on the recipient to opt-out of the Plaxo spam. It appears, now, that the company has recognized for a while the annoyance this creates, but specifically chose not to stop it until they had enough people signed up for their system. The company is now admitting that they'll be slowly making the "spam everyone" feature less prominent and will stop encouraging new users to send out such emails. Their rationale is, basically, that they got enough people to sign up that they don't need to do this any more -- which isn't particularly encouraging. It means they've known for a while that this was bad and annoying, but kept at it. Of course, in the link above, Jeremy Wagstaff also challenges the company's claims that it really has so many users -- as he believes an awful lot of Plaxo accounts are dormant.

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  1. identicon
    Juhani Polkko, 22 Mar 2006 @ 8:30am

    Proven tactic

    Same thing worked great for SMS.ac - at least when it came to getting critical mass of users signed up with minimal cost. Many sites, including MySpace, uses the same method as SMS.ac: Automatic webmail address book import. Users really trust these sites a lot when giving out their email password; pretty scary, eh?

    Anyways, when it comes to SMS.ac and Plaxo - what's the exit plan for a company which pisses everybody off? Don't get me wrong, I love Plaxo, but it's actually very thin line between doing viral marketing right (MySpace) and wrong (SMS.ac). Plaxo is somewhere between those two.

    Juhani

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