If someone in the grocery store were to suddenly shout "Webmaster!" across the dairy aisle, I would whip around so quickly my head would disengage. That is because my name is "Webmaster." But I go by many names. I am also called "Info," "Homes," and occasionally, "Hey there."
"Hey there. Hope you are doing well. In these times of recession, SEO is one of the most economical and targeted way (sic) of marketing," read the e-mail. Good point. Then why are you wasting time in my inbox? Get out there and optimize!
This is a classic case of bad deployment of otherwise good technology. E-marketing of the mass variety, once heralded as the cutting-edge of getting the message out, is fast becoming a sloppy, flawed business delivery system.
I was having lunch with a friend recently, a friend who happens to run a local nonprofit organization, and he was marveling at a new marketing opportunity he had just learned about.
"Do you know there are companies who will sell you e-mail lists? For a few hundred dollars, they will give you thousands of addresses. It’s so much cheaper than postage!" Yes, I know. They call it "spam."
Now, I consider myself fairly progressive as relics are concerned. But sometimes I am forced to admit that I just don’t get it. I don’t get how someone in charge of making important marketing decisions thinks spamvertising is a good idea unless they just woke up to find they slept through a decade.
My inbox is an extension of my office. It is a place in which I do business and meet with colleagues and clients, and I am growing increasingly resentful of strangers barging in uninvited. Spam is the virtual equivalent of breaking and entering, and it is sucking the life out of my productivity.
"Dear Info," the message began. "I have been reading your blog and am very impressed with your content. I just wanted to touch base with you about a great new tool!"
Impressed? I felt so very special, special that is until I realized that my new pen pal was probably no less impressed with the several thousand other blogs he had expressed his admiration for this particular day. I was being courted by some bot-crawly thing that had latched onto my "info@" e-mail address. …CONTINUED