I’m having a particularly bad day with spam email levels, hence the rant.
Image copyright Elvis Kennedy
Two companies getting it wrong: Web traffic provider MGID and website builder Wix. I had no prior dealings with either until during the course of the year nine different representatives from Wix chose to send me unsolicited emails, and 10 representatives from MGID.
For me, a couple back-to-back messages from the same company won’t affect its reputation, but there’s a line between persistence and annoyance, especially when the “messages received” count reaches the twenties and thirties.
Austrian artist Manfred Kielnhofer is another taking it too far. I’ve received 20 of his emails during the past few months. Removal requests count for nothing. He could be a hugely talented bloke, but for all the spam he sends he might as well be touting Viagra.
It should be mandatory for all mailshots to have an unsubscribe link at the bottom. I don’t mean a sentence that reads, “To unsubscribe reply with ‘remove’ in the subject field” or a link that creates a new, blank email. Some companies don’t have a problem with impersonal emails. I do.
Too much to ask, though.
Definition of spam: disruptive messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.
Here’s a quote from the USA’s CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
“Each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, and more than one person may be held responsible for violations. For example, both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that originated the message may be legally responsible.”
Most spammers pay no attention, and the onus seems to be on the recipient to opt-out, but it has been criminally enforced, both inside and outside the United States.
Two of the main perpetrators of spam in my inbox are Cision and PR Newswire. I’ll ask companies who send press releases where they got my address, and these mailing list suppliers are often mentioned. A couple of years ago Beth Blanchard of Cision told me my details were removed after my request (I never opted-in, of course), but some bright spark has re-added me.
Email marketing 101: Don’t spam.
Update: 21 March 2012
A received an email today from Cision’s UK office. All three of my blogs were listed on their media database, and I was asked if I wanted my details removed. So that’s at least something. For now.
If in doubt about what you’re sending to others, there’s the email checklist.
Update: 02 April 2012
Another initial approach email from MGID. For all the browsing of my site they say they do, I guess they haven’t seen this post.