How to Get Rid of the 4-letter S-Word
by Jeremy Gislason
Now don't get all upset, as we are going to talk about the other S-word and that would be S*P*A*M. The * is in between the letters because just the use of this S-word can cause your email to not be delivered.
The S-word is considered to have happened when you send an unsolicited email to someone. Unsolicited means they did not specifically request your information and this is where things get a little dicey.
People subscribe to free offers online, but they forget to read the small print and that small print will tell them they are agreeing to receive offers from third parties. Their email is then sold to dozens of people who in turn might sell it to dozens of other people. The result is the person who wanted to get a free coupon to a restaurant will now start receiving offers for a variety of products and services.
Now, most of these people who buy these leads are honest and caring people and if someone asks to be removed from their list, they will be removed. The problem comes from the real S-worders who buy large number of leads and will never remove an email address. Plus, if you click on the remove link, not only does it not remove you, but it confirms to these people that your email address is valid and they will start sending more junk to you.
In addition, there is software that is readily available on the Internet that will allow someone to harvest millions of email addresses. Harvesting emails for those of you who do not know is the ability for this software to pick up your email from your webpage, a blog, an article, heck I would not be surprised if they can't get my email address off my business card!
So who do we blame for S-word?
1) We can blame the greedy people who subscribe to offers to get something free and do not read the fine print.
2) We can blame the greedy people who purchase these lists of greedy people who want to get something free and do not read the fine print and then these people who purchased the lists start blasting emails selling everything under the sun at rock bottom prices.
3) We can blame the greedy people who buy from the greedy people who purchase these lists of greedy people who want to get something free and do not read the fine print and then these people who purchased the lists start blasting emails selling everything under the sun at rock bottom prices.
4) We can blame the politicians and media who keep the S-word in the newspapers and on the front of everyone's mind.
5) We can blame the Internet for being such an economical and practical marketing source.
6) We can blame the ISP's who send the emails to their members and subscribers.
7) We can blame the Autoresponder companies. After all their services allow people to send lots of mail.
8) We can blame ourselves.
Tough call isn't it? The point is, we all have something to do with the S-word and we are all responsible for getting rid of it. When I first started in marketing, the Internet had not been invented yet and the way we promoted our company was to send direct mail. This was harmless because if someone did not want it, they could simply throw it away, but boy did we catch it from people who wanted to literally remove parts of our body that we had become quite fond of.
You don't hear much about direct mail anymore because the S-word has taken over the news. The problem is the S-word cannot be stopped by legislation or politicians or rules because the people who are really abusing the email system are using techniques so they cannot be tracked. The S-Cop site is out to get rid of the S-word and while I applaud their effort, going after the little guy is not going to get rid of the problem.
The only way to get rid of the S-word outside of charging a fee to send and receive email is to educate people. We need to educate the greedy people who still think they can get something for free on the Internet. We need to educate the people who are purchasing lists of names in small quantities and sending multiple emails without giving the receiver a chance to breathe in between messages. We need to educate the Autoresponder providers to just say no to someone who wants to send bunches of email with purchased lists. We need to educate the people who continue to buy from the big S-worders because lets face it, if bulk email did not work, people would not send it.
Someone is buying something from these people and whether they are doing it because they get a good price or because they are naive and believe the message, does not matter. The illegal drug trade would dry up if people did not continue to buy illegal drugs. Terrorism would stop being a way to change policies if the media did not give these people mention in their newspapers and on television and radio. The S-word is working for some people and it will continue to work and be a problem for all of us until everyone stops buying from them.
The purpose of this article is to help educate people. If one person reads this article and avoids subscribing to get a free restaurant voucher, because he knows that he is going to get hit with bunches of emails, then we will have accomplished our goal. We, those of us working online need to make the S-word go away, because if we leave up to the politicians and lawyers, we the people who most depend on the Internet and email will be paying to send our email in the very near future.
Personally, I do not want this to happen. I want the government and the lawyers as far away from the Internet as we can keep them because all in all the Internet works very well. However if we get the government involved, we might as well get prepared to start paying to send emails and also get use to 28k modems because they would take us back that far if they are allowed to interfere.
S-word is not coming from the reputable companies and people online. S-word is coming from people that do not care about laws or what is right or wrong. They only care about the dollar and they won't stop as long as they are making dollars, and they are only going to make dollars if people keep supporting them!
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