Rise and Fall of Email Marketing

An old post I’ve resurrected from an old blog of mine…

Living in Calgary as I do, the weather here can change in a heartbeat. So it seems go the fortunes of Email Marketing.

For a while, Email marketing was the most effective way to reach an audience. Massive email lists were bought and sold regularly. Then came spam. Well, it didn’t really arrive, it evolved.

Now there are little programs that surf the Internet looking for email addresses to add to these ever expanding lists. (Hence why I don’t put my email address up, except in a photo image which is hard for a robot to read).

Rest assured, if your email address is posted, it’s only a matter of time.

As a result, a whole host of technologies have been developed to keep unwanted email out of our inboxes. Yet still some sneak by. In my day job, I manage an Email marketing list of over 150 000, which is completely opt in. Strangely, people seem to forget that they opted in. (It’ a travel directory where people can post their own websites in a huge amount of categories.)

When you sign up to get your listing, we ask you to opt in. If you don’t, you don’t get email from me.

So I recently sent an email newsletter, stuffed with useful information on search engine optimization and email marketing.

A fellow from Virginia then takes it upon himself to call us up and tell us that he was going to call the FBI on us for sending spam. So we check it out, and of course, he did opt in to our list. Also of course, there is a fully functional unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Nope, he actually looked us up, and called us. Then proceeded to threaten my boss.

How much time do you have in a day? My newsletters look and are totally legitimate with full double opt-in CAN SPAM compliance.

I can’t help but wonder if he trys to find out who is sending the Viagra ads.

Personally, my work email address, which is posted, gets about 20 to 30 spam a day, which is really low thanks to very aggressive server level filtering. Of those 20 to 30, they all get the delete button. I certainly don’t have time to be looking for phone numbers.

The best part was, he had opted in.

So we deleted him from our database, and naturally also removed his listing. We’re not evil, but he did have a free one way link from our VERY popular and highly rated travel directory, and we didn’t want to have to deal with him again.

Point of the story? Sometimes there is just no pleasing everybody.

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