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But…I’m not a SPAMMER!

March 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

BLUF- Think before you add someone to your email database. You don’t want them labeling you as a spammer. 1 Good Reason Rule of Thumb, the higher the value or the longer the sales cycle the less permission is needed. When in doubt send an invitation rather than a subscription.

I’ve worked with a few clients who have had dual personalities and one of them is me! Not as individuals but between our business practices and our personal tastes. As individuals we all (except sicko marketing hacks like me) hate to receive spam email messages. God knows I’m about as enhanced as any male needs to be- naturally I might add. And most of my drugs are available over the counter in my local store. And I’ve already helped all of the orphan children of extremely wealthy parents in Nairobi that I can this year.

Spam Poll on Plaxo
Unscientific poll of my Plaxo

In the above poll 49% said sending you my email marketing without a chance to Opt-In is spam. I asked the question slightly differently on LinkedIn and Facebook, but got basically the same response. And on the original poll on Plaxo there were 44 comments, 25% of the people who took the poll had something to write about it. You can read the entire thing you will need to join Plaxo for free if you aren’t already a member. Please respond to this blog post, not on these other sites.


For my business, selling contract online marketing services (in case you didn’t know), I’ve decided that I will offer target prospects a single Opt-In. This is because the discussion on my questions indicated that people will very much want an option. So if you don’t already, you may receive an invitation from me soon. This is because the sales cycle for marketing services and the dollar value are fairly high. Which leads us to the following:

1 Good Reason rule of thumb:rule of thumb
The LOWER the dollar value or
The SHORTER sales cycle
The MORE PERMISSION is needed for email subscriptions.

If you sell high dollar, or complex products, or things that take a lot of planning; then your prospects most likely will not view your messages as spam. Think about home buying- it’s complex and requires a lot of planning with a long sales cycle. But most homeowners don’t mind receiving Real Estate news from a broker because they want to be informed (especially these days). Notice I said news, not, “We are better at selling houses because…”

Now think about automobile tires. Most people would view weekly emails about car tires as spam. They don’t take much planning, (Oops I’m skidding,) and they don’t cost too much in relation to other things automobile, like a new muffler or collision damage (or a tank of gas if things keep going the way they have.)


Your goal as a marketer and potential spammer is to guard against your recipient not tagging your email messages as spam. Unfortunately that is so easy in many email systems that people do it to messages that they shouldn’t. People use it as a quick and easy unsubscribe tool. Because of things like the Ziff-Davis fiasco I described recently.

Not sure what these terms mean? You can read more here: The case for Double Opt-In (aka Confirmed Opt In) and the case for Single Opt-In and an excellent discussion of the pros & cons of both.

Tanks for reading,


When you receive my email offering you a subscription to this blog, will you mark me as a spammer? Tell me in the comments below…

Tags: Reasons For Net Marketing

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lewis Green // Mar 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm


    I send out a free white paper every month or os to my contacts, which includes an easy unsubscribe. I am not selling or advertising my services, although the everyone on the list gets what I do. No one has ever complained about it as SPAM, but they probably wouldn’t. They would simply unsubscribe.

    Question: Is my informational white paper SPAM. (It isn’t according to the CAN SPAM Act, but is it perceived as SPAM?)

  • 2 Brenden // Mar 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    You make good points. Thanks for the ping.

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