[Wolves] Spam from a Wolves firm

Matthew Revell wolveslug at understated.co.uk
Tue Feb 10 12:51:12 GMT 2004

Peter Cannon wrote:

> Before I start let me make it clear I am just having a discussion I am 
> not trying to dominate or influence.

Yes, of course! Same here. It's good to have a conversation about this 
sort of thing. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two.

>>/I'm afraid I can't agree with you there; one man's spam is everyone's 
>>spam. Spam is spam./
> Possibly you're letting the word spam cloud your mind ( Luke, Luke use 
> the force Luke) think of it this way we all know fire burns but people 
> can still walk on it thats because they don't think about it burning 
> ipso facto don't think of it as spam think of it as mail. Thats why 
> the delete key was invented.

I think I see what you're saying but I stand by the assertion that spam 
is spam. Legit. marketing emails are legit. marketing emails. Spam is spam.

Perhaps where we disagree is that, to an extent, I believe that where 
people consider something to be spam, then it becomes spam. I'm perhaps 
not talking about the reactionary types who appear on Radio 4's You and 
Yours, or the type of people who see Nicky Campbell as a hero. Let me be 
specific: I mean me. I get quite a few marketing emails that I'm happy 
to receive. However, in the past I have had times where I've received 
several emails a month from the same few companies, with whom I had no 
direct relationship. The main culprit was a recruitment website. They 
got my email address from my Jobserve listing, I assume, which is 
intended as way for recruitment agencies to contact people about 
jobs/contracts, not for people simply to fish for trade/site visitors. I 
considered this to be spam because:

a) I had no direct relationship with them
b) they were contacting me for a reason other than that I'd given 
permission for, even tho' they almost certainly would claim otherwise
c) they emailed me far more often than I considered to be reasonable.

To me this was spam. To the company involved, they probably thought it 
was legitmate because they offer IT job listings and I was looking for 
an IT job and I'd given my email address for the use of recruitment 
agencies, which they probably consider to be close enough to what they 
do. The fact that they were a little too send button trigger happy, was 
probably okay as far as they were concerned; email was how they got 
their business, after all.

You mention the delete key. Yes, I can delete email that I don't want 
and I regularly do. I believe, tho', that I shouldn't have to waste time 
deleting emails of the type I've described above. If a company wants a 
business relationship with me, then they need to go through routes that 
I'm happy with and that seem to suit the majority of other businesses. 
It's not down to me, though, to decide what those routes are ... if I 
did come up with them, I'd be nice and rich.

Anyway, in this particular case, if the company had sent me one email 
when a relevant job came up, that would have been fine. If they'd 
respected my unsubscribe requests, which I made after each mailing, that 
would have been fine. In the end, they stopped, for a while, following 
my complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. The next time I was 
looking for a contract, tho', they started up again.

>>/Well, I'm not sure that I consider that to be dodgy. You ask for 
>>someone's email address and you tell them that you'll send them some 
>>information; surely it's implicit that you're going to store their 
>>address and, er, send them information./
> Thanks for that however I think they under the impression they are 
> only getting a one off brochure not emails on a weekly basis.

Then don't you piss people off? Isn't that bad for your business? I 
mean, even monthly would be better.

>>As for the FPS and TPS: give a medal to Oftel for having the guts to set 
>>them up. In many cases, they're entirely useless - cf kitchen, double 
>>glazing and other companies who work from ripped out pages from 
>>telephone directories - but at least they're giving people the 
>>opportunity not to have their time and fax paper wasted. I fully support 
>>the idea of a similar service for email but it would never work./
> Ha Ha you've fallen into my trap FPS & TPS are an independent body 
> given a mandate by the government, they are a fee paying membership 
> group who want £3000.00 for their directory to find out who you cant 
> fax and £3000.00 for who you cant phone (good business if you can get 
> it) they send you a letter saying "did you know joe bloggs is on the 
> FPS list" you make your apologies and then bugger me they launch into 
> a sales pitch to get you to join the FPS or TPS (er. isn't that 
> telephone sales?)

I need to read more about the FPS and TPS and, if they charge £3,000 for 
the no-call/no-fax lists, then they seem pretty pointless. I do know 
that any respectable database sales company filters their databases 
against the FPS/TPS lists. Like I say, they do nothing to stop the firms 
that call you straight from the phone book.

>>/Well, come on, no one is suggesting you put an ad in The Black Country 
>>Bugle, particularly if the head of ICI is your target. But then, you're 
>>not seriously suggesting the head of any major corporation would respond 
>>to unsolicited fax, telephone or email marketing? Businesses have 
>>survived for thousands of years without email marketing. Okay, business 
>>may be different now but it's down to every business to survive in the 
>>market, according to the conditions of that market./
> I am more than willing to be taught but answer this (It's the chicken 
> and egg question) if you have to make an appointment but you cant 
> phone, fax or email how do you make the appointment?

Well, I'm not overly interested in getting into a debate about sales and 
marketing techniques, in general. I do believe, though, that it's down 
to companies to come up with creative ways of marketing their products 
that don't piss off their potential customers.

> Email is brilliant think about it the mail goes direct to the persons 
> desktop no "tell him I'm out" if you phone, no getting chucked in the 
> bin by the receptionist if you fax, yes they can delete it but odds on 
> they had a quick look first.

Email is great, you're right. What I never understand about sales people 
is that they seem to think they need to - and have a right to - get 
their message to their target at almost all costs. If someone doesn't 
want a phone call, why will they be pleased to get an email? I say 
"pleased" as you want them to feel good about your company, so they buy 
from you.

> I seriously have lost count of the amount of people who start a 
> conversation with "you spam me, send me junk mail but on this occasion 
> you've caught my eye I just happened to be looking for blah blah blah"
Well, I suppose the causeof the spam remark  is that you're not up front 
about the fact that you send out an email each week. Why not be a little 
more honest about it? You don't have to go as far as saying you'll email 
them weekly. How about adding, "and do you mind if we email you about 
our special offers, from time to time?" to the telephone script? Then 
you're more likely to win the customer's trust.

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