Wide World of Technology
Posted by: Pete
Do unsolicited B2B emails count as SPAM? What if they are sent to 'contact us' email addresses published on e-commerce websites? Doesn't the very act of
publishing a contact email address on the web constitute a solicitation?
I am CEO of a new internet business with limited funds. Am I not allowed use the power of the net to contact companies I believe would be interested in our
services? Is my only option to fund expensive marketing/advertising to publicise my business?
Our ISP is threatening to close us down if we don't stop sending email to prospective customers. Is this fair?
Any lawyers out there interested in taking this on?
Posted by: kevin
2001-05-05 22:28:16 In reply to: Pete
Hey all you have to do is put a link at the bottom of your email saying "if you wish to be removed from this email please reply to this message and type remove in subject line"
I get emails all the time like this that I do not want or have not asked for but I can't have them stopped cause they are leaving away to have yourself removed. From what my research has found as long as there is a remove link on the email it is not considered spam.
Posted by: OldHand
2001-05-08 08:42:19 In reply to: kevin
Sorry, Kevin, but if it's unsolicited and it's sent in bulk, it is spam. Don't use those remove addresses -- often they just confirm your email address to someone who will resell it on a CD of "100Million Email Addresses for $19.95."
Anyone who sends me UBE earns a request to their upstream that their email accounts and websites are removed. Presence of an opt-out at the bottom matters not one whit.
Posted by: Dave
2001-03-09 14:10:36 In reply to: Pete
Yes, your ISP is absolutely right to kick your spam off their system.
Where in the world do you get the impression that Web sites that post a "contact us" link are giving you permission to spam them???
Quite frankly, you're lucky that your spam victims are not suing you.
BTW - I hope that you learn the lesson of what a bad business practice sending spam is. Not only does it demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what is acceptable to your target market, but it also produces ill will toward you and your company.
If you want to market your goods and services, do it the legal way -- pay for advertising, or use other acceptable marketing techniques.
If you can't afford to market your products properly, then maybe you should ask yourself if you are in the right business in the first place.
So what is the issue here? Is any unsolicited email SPAM, surely an unworkable solution for ecommerce? Or is it the content that constitutes SPAM? Is a personalised 121 approach OK? As I see it, in a B2B situation (NOT B2C) if a commercial organisation is publishing a contact address on the web then they are fair game to be contacted. I accept that it is not reasonable to inundate people with numerous unsolicited mails but a one off mailing is surely acceptable in a commercial environment.
No. It is surely NOT acceptable to spam a commercial organization's e-mail addresses.
Again, if you cannot afford to market and advertise your business legally, then you should consider a different line of work.
It certainly is acceptable to drop another business a line to identify yourself and ways you think you can help them. B2B is different than B2C in that respect. At his level, you expect to see these types of solicitations from time to time. It's no different from unsoliticed snail mail exept that it's much easier to dispose of. I simply delete the ones I get that don't interest me. In today's business, it's another part of the game.
On our site, our comments page directs that mail to a specific mail address. We use Microsoft Outlook with a "Rule" set up to move it to a special file. With this we are able to check it out quickly and I still find it quicker and easier to delete unwanted email then to sort thru and toss out snail-mail solicitations. With the same "Rules" set-up, we prevent unwanted mail from arriving in our regular commerce mail file. I still think of spam as mystery meat in a can.
I have to agree with you Paul. Sure it can be a bit irksome having to delete information that doesn't appeal but that's the nature of the beast (the web). As you say it's certainly a lot easier to hit the
While it may or may not be spam (frankly, I think Dave is being a little harsh, although if your ISP is complaining about it, you're certainly not staying under the radar)... this approach isn't going to work anyway.
Don't all of us set up "contact us" email names for precisely the flotsam and jetsam that is part of the Internet? And the decisionmakers have private addresses which are given a lot more attention?
If you're sending your email to the email address that the intern opens, it's not going anywhere but the trash anyway.
But if you get the decision maker's name and email address, and you say, "Hi, I heard about your business in x newsletter/y magazine/z article at ecommercetimes.com, and I thought you might be interested," I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Spam is when I get emails without personalization that are about online gambling in the Caribbean...
I appreciate, your well thought out comments. I certainly agree with you about personalization and have included it in our email policy, along with other criteria like these messages must be B2B and 1-2-1 not 1-2-many. I am currently awaiting a response from our ISP on our updated email policy.
BTW, they say they sympathise when I spoke to them but that they are dead scared of being 'frozen out'.
Apparently, there are 1 or 2 organisations out there, holding ISP's to ransom and threatening to block traffic not just from ISP's but main carriers because they have received complaints about SPAM emanating from domains they are hosting/carrying.
I am surprised that noone has mentioned opt in mail lists as an alternative.
It can be industry specific and I usually don't mind getting things from lists that I have agreed to get information from.
If I am not interested I hit the delete button
I do agree however that outright unsolicited is a violation of the ethic--whatever semblance of it is left.
You guys are off the mark.
Yes, it is spam. And a big part of the issue has to do with the cost. Most people pay for their email service. The cost for sending of spam is no longer on the distributer it is on the receipent.
The phone analogy doesn't work because here the cost still resides with the distributer. (Try calling 1000 people in 20 minutes, what does it take to do that.)
A better analogy is cell-phones. Both users pay the cost (in the US), and hence, you would have a difficult time getting a directory listing of cell phone numbers.
The mail analogy doesn't work either, the cost is still born by the distributer.
This is why we fought to have spamming laws introduced. I do not want to go back to the days before them.
I am the CTO for a large organization and spam costs us a lot.
See your point, Paul. I am actually very interested in the cost of spam. If there has been done any research/study on the costs of spam, could point out to sources?
Dave seems paranoid that the whole world is going to find out his email address and spam him all at once. I think it's completely acceptable to send emails to a business'
In reply to my inquiry about the costs of spam an e-mail server specialist replied that spam is actually theft of ISP e-mail server capacity and clearly explained why. If interested see the discussion thread here: http://forums.delphi.com/ab-retailind/messages/?ctx=16