Letter: Recipients Are the Ones Who Define What Is Spam

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Bravo to Ken Magill for simplifying this crazy story about the struggle between the Association for Interactive Marketing and the Direct Marketing Association in defining spam.

Get off the high horses and wake up, folks -- in the long run, the recipients of our e-mail are the ones who define whether it's called "spam" or something they like to get.

Most advertising messages I get in my e-mail are pure crap -- and that is spam to me, even if you who send it think that it's wonderful and is not spam.

Years ago, in the catalog world, we found that people who say they hated "junk mail" actually liked getting catalogs, which are nothing more than multiple-page direct mail. In fact, they liked getting offers and purchasing by mail. The stuff they hate is the stuff they don't want. And mail is far less intrusive than spam.

Sigh! Why can't these pesky consumers be more complacent or at least consistent? It's the beauty of human nature, my friends. I'd say that any company who's not doing extraordinary efforts in the mailbox -- to you AIM folks, that's called 'snail mail' -- to court and woo opt ins, like, NOW, is going to be left far behind when it comes to generating traffic to their sites.

Oh, and most of you had better hire some better creatives than the ones who are doing your e-mail because that stuff sure looks, reads and smells like spam to me!

Carol Worthington Levy, Creative partner, MarketingBank


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