You don't think you're a spammer. But do your customers and prospects agree?

In another blog post, I offered the lemma:

The customer or other person whose attention you've requested is always right.

in support of the proposition:

Bottom line re communicating with customers and prospects: If they think it's spam, they're automatically right, so you automatically did something wrong. Act accordingly. If you push ethical boundaries in your marketing, that's all the more reason to be quick to fix any real or perceived problem with it.

But perhaps it would be clearer if I just offered the definition*

Any unwelcome bulk email is spam.

*Lemma ... proposition ... definition – yeah, I'm channeling my days as a mathematician.

You don't have to take my word for it. Look at this survey, in which people were asked why they marked an email as “junk” or “spam.” Only 52% of the respondents selected “Because I didn't sign up for it.” What's more, it's not just the other 48% who are damning something as spam that doesn't technically violate the CAN-SPAM Act. A lot of the 52% may have been receiving mail that was legally defensible – they just didn't know or care about that. What they knew was that they didn't want it, and they felt the sender should be punished accordingly.

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