EMail Advertising

Walking the thin line between keeping in touch and being classified as a bottom feeding slime ball somewhat below amoebas in evolutionary development.

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Email advertising comes in several varieties, listed in order of decreasing repute:
  • Opt-in mailing lists by business or organizations sent to people who are interested in your subject matter and have given permission to send email.
  • Bulletins and newsletters from companies you have done business with.
  • Carefully targeted marketing programs (similar to junk mail).
  • Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam **
Always be aware, when advertising by email you are doing so at others' expense. In essence, you are stealing both time and money to promote your own business. If you use that time and money unwisely, those footing the bill can get really pissed. Keep in mind that revenge is one of the fine old traditions of the Internet.

The very best thing you can do to make email advertising effective is to have a good "from" alias in your mailreader, and to use a short and very clear "subject" phrase. Hopefully these will be a name and subject the receiver wants to see. This will give you a few extra seconds of viewing time.

Use the first few lines to clearly state who you are, what the subject is and why the recipient is interested. For some mail readers the first 6 lines or so are most critical, but at very best you will get 12 lines and 2 to 3 seconds to make your case. Presume the delete button has already been pressed by time the reader can comprehend a word of it (because it probably has) and s/he need only click OK and you are history.

Do not use HTML. Most mail readers do not interpret it but show it as plain text with lots of confusing tags. At best, if the mail reader does detect HTML and render it, it takes a lot longer and will annoy the recipient. In most cases, seeing an HTML tag is grounds for instant deletion without reading a word because it's certain to be an advertising pitch.

Study spam and be certain your message looks nothing like spam and doesn't use words and phrases common in spam, or your message will be deleted by "spam filters" and your intended recipient will never see it.

SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM

The lure of email advertising for bottom feeders is that they can reach a huge number of people at almost no cost and with very little effort. Of course they have to, because response to spam makes junk mail's 1% to 2% response rate look positively astronomical. There is no targeting at all (they just buy a list of random email addresses that somebody's 'bot has compiled) and they are offending most recipients before a word is read.

Spam is generally aimed at fools and includes all kinds of junk, including multilevel marketing pyramids, useless products and shady or out and out fraudulent business schemes. The reason it is aimed at fools is that anyone else has already deleted it. Unfortunately, there are plenty of fools to go around, so spammers will be always with us.

The Internet is not free (as in free beer). Someone pays for everything, including transmission of spam, and they're going to be pissed. Revenge is a fine tradition of the internet and many will seek revenge on you if you spam. The ISP account you spam from will be canceled immediately, depend on it. Spammers have to set up a new account every time, and if there is any way to recognize them (such as the same credit card number) their account application will be rejected. Spammers make heavy use of AOL "100 hours free" CDs and other "throw away" offers, as well as stolen credit card numbers.

The battle between spammers and email users is intense. Many people now post their email addresses with obvious errors that an intelligent person will know how to remove for legitimate replies. Many use "spam filters" on their email readers which automatically delete most of the messages they receive so they never see them at all.

Global Internet services, the one Internet backbone provider that solicited traffic from spammers has just declared bankruptcy (if you can imagine that in this growth market). Though they "reformed" and kicked the spammers off years ago, they never recovered from their reputation and people didn't want to deal with them. Organized spamming companies went out of business about the same time. It's now completely a freelance business.


** Internet usage of the word spam comes from a Monty Python skit where a group of Vikings drown out everyone with their incessant chant of "Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam . . . . ".

©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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