A Word On Spam

by Ruggero T. Ricordi - Date: 2007-09-28 - Word Count: 439 Share This!

You don't have a million dollars to spend on advertising. The Web promises a number of ways to get word out on the cheap. ALL of them are considered spam. Make no mistake: all of them.

No one reads emails that look like they're trying to sell products. Not anymore. All those "opt-in" lists are pure bullshit. I'll tell you why.

Do you read emails that look like they're trying to sell something to you? That's why.

I honestly don't know why I still receive a lot of email spam. Why does anyone? Why do they bother? How much does it cost them? Harvesting emails is an expensive proposition. Inertia, maybe. It used to work (maybe; I wouldn't know). Maybe it'll take the idiots some years to realize that it no longer does.

I discussed pay-per-click "campaigns" in the previous post.

Massive, all-out banner advertisement is very expensive and gets less and less efficient by the week. The law of diminishing returns is in effect on the Web.

No one looks at Web classifieds, free or paid. (NO! Are you sure? Yes, I am. How come? Well. Do you look at them? There you go).

What's left? Message boards and forums.

Each message board (seriously: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM) has at least ONE member whose mission in life is to look for anything that looks like spam and pounce on it. They delete it or replace it with colorful pictures that say stuff like "Spam! Yummy." They may have no lives, but knowing that does not make your life any easier. You may spend hours refining your thoughtful post, taking into consideration the forum's topics, carefully wording your ideas, etc, only to see some asshole zap it three minutes later after noticing a link in it.

(The common (erroneous) belief is that if you post some interesting thoughts related to the forum's main idea, and put your link in your "signature", you'll be okay. You won't: no one looks at the links in signatures).

The worst part is that everyone on the forum will approve of the asshole's mode of action without giving you the benefit of the doubt BECAUSE most advertising you see on forums IS bullshit. The difference is the amount of money one is willing to spend. You're trying to advertise for free (that's not true, of course; you spend time, energy, etc, not to mention your electric company's bill at the end of the month); big companies SPAM on forums, advertising their bullshit products, with impunity, by paying a lot of money. Their stupid banners are all over the Web. No one thinks of THAT as spam, even though that's exactly what it is.

Related Tags: ecommerce, spam, email, campaign

Ruggero T. Ricordi is the founder and publisher of Mighty Niche Books, your ultimate source of exciting contemporary literature.

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