[thelist] <s>Spam</s> Marketing Email Return

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Wed Oct 20 10:30:13 CDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM, Jack Timmons <codeacula at codeacula.com> wrote:
> This includes email marketing. I take the holier-than-thou approach of
> "you shouldn't send out 3 mass mailings a month, because it's annoying
> as all hells." This week I've been charged with sending out two, much
> to my chagrin, although, to be fair, the first one is perfect since
> its purpose is to contact our affiliates for the end-of-year updates.
> You see, I don't believe in the hype of <s>spamming</s> mass email
> marketing.

My understanding of spam has evolved somewhat over the last couple
years. I used to take a position similar to yours. If I didn't ask to
be contacted by you, you shouldn't be sending me anything.

I also love Godin, so I am glad Joel plugged his book.

But let's realize that Godin was head of Marketing at Yahoo, a large
organization with a strong existing brand. Opt-in works great when
everyone knows about you; they can decide whether you are worth their
time or not.

Smaller companies are in a different situation. They could have
exactly what you need. But you will never know about it, because
they're a 10 person, no-name company in Nowheresville.

The important thing to recognize is that unsolicited email can be
counterproductive. So, rules of thumb aside, the real question is
whether the unsolicited email that you're being asked to send out is
likely to help your brand or hurt it. And that really comes down to
the reaction people are going to have when they receive it. Did you
waste my time? Or am I pleasantly surprised about a solution to a
problem I didn't realize until just now that I had, or that I knew I
had but did not know of any solutions?

So I have matured my understanding of spam. Spam is not unsolicited
email. Spam is unsolicited email that I don't want.

Are you able to determine if this is spam or not? Probably. Should you
make that determination and voice it to those asking you to send out
the email? Probably not. Even if you do have a better feel for their
market than they do, they aren't going to see it that way.

I think your idea about metrics is the right way to go. Do what they
ask. Make sure you can report the results. If you are right about it
being spam, then it will take care of itself.

Matt Warden
Austin, TX, USA

This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.

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