Presumptuous spam emails: Even more annoying than the regular kind

25Mar10

I received at least six emails last week from some random company that insists they’ve created a free account for me. Trouble is, I’ve never heard of them and have no interest in their service. And the tone of the emails is really annoying: they insist that I requested the account and I need to activate it.

Maybe this is an effective tactic when targeting novice computer users. But if the marketer hopes to create any sort of long-term brand equity, this type of presumptuous email marketing is an even worse idea than regular spam. Why? Insisting that a prospective customer did something and needs to take action, when no such thing ever happened, it quite insulting. And I think people are more likely to remember this type of message and avoid that brand in the future, compared to garden-variety spam that never gets personal about what the recipient did or didn’t do.

Granted, we’re talking about unsolicited emails here. The companies that run spam campaigns probably couldn’t care less about how prospects and customers see their brand. But I think this advice can be generalized to legitimate companies, too. Don’t presume there’s a business relationship when nothing of the sort actually exists, or you’ll risk insulting the intelligence of the very customers you’re trying to reach.



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