I recently read an article written by Todd Natenberg, who owns a company called TBN Sales Solutions. It was in the local Kansas City newspaper in the business section but what caught my eye was the article’s title “In Defense of E-mail Spam.” Having written a post recently about your online email reputation and how spam can all but destroy it, I naturally was very interested in what Todd had to say.
He believes that the concept of “opting-in” to receive future email solicitations is a flawed system as there are people that will opt-in who are not good candidates and there are those who do not opt-in that may very likely purchase your product in the future. Situations change and therefore the statement of not “opting-in” now may not be valid later. He says, “No business wants to merely send out an email. The goal is to have that email lead to action in the form of purchasing of services (or products).” He raises a valid point that small businesses, who are the foundation of our economy, cannot afford the massive advertising expense to get the word out that they exist, and if you have “no call” lists and anti-spam laws, that you have severely hindered small businesses’ capability to market themselves. They must have the ability to do economical email marketing.
Todd raises good points but here is where I believe his theory isn’t relevant anymore. The traditional forms of blasting out a message to the masses, regardless of whether it is radio, TV, magazines, or …email, is rapidly losing its effectiveness. Saying your message over and over, or louder and louder, hoping to find someone who might be interested only irritates and doesn’t promote the building of a relationship. Seth Godin talks of this in his blog entitled “Bullhorns are Overrated,” where he says it’s probably better to find many people who choose to listen. Asking someone whether they would like to hear from you via email and how often they would like information is one of the best ways of building goodwill and lasting loyalty. This is why the social media pilgrimage has built to such a crescendo.
One other thing I believe Todd omitted. I don’t think we can fully comprehend the physical load on email server hardware if we were to “open the faucet” to unabated email solicitations. The shear volume of “spam” could task these resources to their limit, forcing providers, companies, etc to make investments in additional hardware, the costs of which would ultimately be passed on to you and me as consumers.
What do you think?