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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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November 5, 2002) - We have never sold our email list. From the beginning, we have maintained our belief that if our content was not important to the audience, the audience would simply go away. Each evening, we remove the names of customers who have finished their time with us and add the new ones. Some decide to use the unsubscribe form, some simply close their email boxes. We think it's a question of good citizenship to keep things pruned and above board. We don't want to be in the mail boxes of people who don't want us there. Our reputation is important.

Overall, its a slow and steady growth. Because of the massive turnover in the industry over the years, we have tried to focus on a very specific audience of decision makers, forward thinkers, investors and executives. We know better than to waste their time.

We hear fairly routinely from companies who are using spam generating services. For a small bit of money, they send email to hundreds of thousands of email addresses. When we suggest that spam erodes market value, the companies usually tell us that they can not afford to lose the sales. As we've mentioned before, our inboxes fill to overflowing with hundreds of copies of each of those pieces of spam. 

Anyone (outside of, perhaps, the top three job boards) who suggests that they have more than about 50,000 email addresses is a source of spam. Of course, it's not a problem to generate a big list of email addresses. Spiders are cheap. Not deleting bounced addresses and not subscribing to unsubscribe requests is simple...you don't do anything. 

Emailing, through a third party shields a customer from the huge volume of bounced mail. It seems innocent and, more importantly, cost-effective. The damage is quiet and corrosive. When we hear someone describe the process as cost-effective, we know they mean that the future of their brand is less important than getting a sale today. The desperation is somewhat understandable, given the last couple of years of economic difficulty.

But, each email that a member of the industry has to delete takes a second of so. Each email from "deals4recruiters" results in about 120,000 deletions. That's a loss of nearly a week's worth of productivity from the industry as a whole. When one of the smaller operations with, say between 80,000 and 130,000 addresses bombs the mail boxes, it's a net loss of two or three days.

It adds up quickly. More importantly, it sullies reputations and diverts the business from things that need to be done. 

We doubt that the spam problem will end anytime soon. But, we're pretty certain that companies using the technique are demonstrating their short leash on life. Anyone willing to sell off pieces of their brand for sales is clearly going out of business.

Each piece of unsolicited email that gets deleted by a potential customer is about one second of negative experience for the customer. 

-John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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         Materials written
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         © TwoColorHat.
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