Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Person's Spam is Another's Marketing

Nearly every day I get e-mails from (likely) legitimate businesses which have obviously scraped my information from government contractor databases.  They are generally form letters, announcements, or newsletters.  Often times, there's a link at the bottom that gives me the option to unsubscribe.  I mostly mark these as spam and move on, though occasionally click through and unsubscribe.  I particularly enjoy when I have the option of telling them why I am unsubscribing.  It provides the opportunity to inform them that I never subscribed, and shouldn't have to unsubscribe, and that spamming me is not good marketing.  Today, I got one from a company that was offering to show me how to improve my marketing. Rich, considering they're marketing approach was so poor.   I clicked through to unsubscribe, but wasn't given the opportunity to give a reason, sadly.

Spam continues to flow through our in boxes because it works (sometimes). Send out enough e-mails and you will get someone to bite.  According to Yale University, over 40 million spam e-mails went out in December.  I am sure that many of these "marketers" do not see themselves a spamming. 

How do you reach diverse customers without sending stock e-mails, risking offending potential customers and getting branded a spammer? Is this risk worth the return?  Is sometimes hitting your mark enough? 

Image courtesy of AJC1

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