And the "Spammy" goes to...

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DotBlu, a social network geared mostly to teens. I don't usually like to call out companies by name, but I think there's a really important lesson to be gained from my story: Yesterday I received an e-mail from my 75-year-old Aunt Harriet -- supposedly. When I saw it, I immediately suspected spam, but there was something about it...and I clicked on it. When I saw that there was -- supposedly -- a message from Harriet waiting for me, I became even more suspicious, especially when I saw what the site was about.

I e-mailed DotBlu and called them on their "spamminess," and received an e-mailed reply saying that my e-mail address would be "added to our suppression list." When I protested the fact that I received the fake e-mail in the first place, I was told the following:

"We have an optional page that allows registered users to import address books from major e-mail providers to send invitations. The person invited you to our service likely sent out the invitations using this feature without reading the pages."

Okay, fine. But I feel confident that Aunt Harriet did not understand what she was doing when she clicked on the message that she surely received from someone else -- as I didn't. So the marketing is clearly deceptive -- it's really a phishing scam.

I believe it's the responsibility of the marketer to make sure their e-mail marketing is not deceptive, even if it does include an opt-out option. And after doing a Google search and finding blogs complaining about DotBlu's e-mails, it's clear that it's not doing the company any good from a PR standpoint. So really...is there any point to being so spammy? I say marketers can and should do better.

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