Spam, it's not as simplistic as the naysayers make it out to be


Hands up, who amongst us has ever said something we genuinely and consciously believed to be true that turned out to be a complete contradiction of what we actually did or really felt; any Liberal Democrat voters amongst us?

Open any marketing publication in any media and it is no surprise to find industry commentators offering what seems to be valuable, if fairly obvious, advice on the importance of avoiding sending spam; one simple definition of which is unwanted communication.

Another definition of spam is communication the receiver has not solicited. Another is communication that has no consideration or care for the recipient. But go to Google and you will see that no accepted definition of spam actually exists. The concept of spam is so personal that even allowing for the perceived ubiquitous presence of it we are unable to agree what it actually is.

The reality for marketers, or anyone else that needs to do business is that most of what we do on a daily basis in any medium is spam because to communicate with the few that want to do business with we must communicate with many that don't.

So far this month we have sent over 3 million emails on behalf of various customers to various databases and we have seen one complaint from a person who had forgotten that they had opted in. 1 person out of 3 million?! The rest of the emails have encouraged a degree of reinforcement and recognition, generated business or slipped quietly off into obscurity.

Email marketing is not something to be scared of and if you are a professional neither is "spam". Those companies that embark on email marketing as part of an integrated marketing strategy will even enjoy the experience of some people thanking them for getting in touch? In summary, there is no need here for that old newsletter staple "10 great reasons or rules to build your email marketing on". Just one, be professional. The future has always been data led, step back and reflect and we can all see that the big winners in the economy gather and "farm" data. They all communicate on an ongoing basis in various media. Data led marketing is ubiquitous not spam. What is spam to one person is gratefully received by the next and that response is as fluid as a mood swing. Non-solicited communication is a commercial imperative. At some point in any fulfillment process there has to be an unsolicited communication and it doesn't matter if the product is diamonds or detergent.

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