February 01, 2006Another E-Marketer Liar
This afternoon I've been pelted with spam originating from an e-marketer that spews CAN-SPAM compliant email. That, of course, doesn't make it not spam in the eye of the recipient, but it keeps them out of the FTC's crosshairs on the face of it.
Well, maybe not.
Through the Site, Company operates the service [trade name removed], by which it delivers advertisements and offers by email to its “list members,” that is, people who sign up for the Service through our opt-in process via our Site or through one of our many partners’ sites. List members choose the topical categories they are interested in and sign up for those particular lists. They will then receive email messages only from those lists and only for so long as they wish to continue to receive such messages. Before any mailing goes out, our staff personally screens each marketer’s message to make sure that is relevant to the list’s topic.
I can tell you that I have never signed up to any list offered by the company. And, as Spam Wars readers know, the "partners" garbage usually means that they bought lists that have no audit trail, and could have even been harvested.
So, the pitch to this outfit's potential clients is that an email marketing message would be sent to me only if I have chosen a "topical category" in which I'm interested. OK. Here are some of the offers that came in today:
FROM: "SUPER BOWL SURVEY"
SUBJECT: SUPER BOWL XL SURVEY - COMPLIMENTARY XBOX 360 ...
FROM: "AIRLINE PROMOTION"
SUBJECT: TRAVEL AT NO COST ON THE AIRLINE OF YOUR CHOICE...
FROM: "NATIONWIDE FINANCING"
SUBJECT: 60 SECOND AUTO LOAN APP. ALL CREDIT TYPES ACCEPTED.
I have to tell you how glad I am that I only view the source code of these messages. Each message consists of two images, each surrounded by a link. One link/image pair is for their disclaimer/opt-out statement to meet CAN-SPAM requirements. But the other image's URL is coded with all kinds of stuff: certainly something identifying the promotion, and perhaps an ID equating to my email address in their database. Just opening the message with images turned on would have tripped their hit counter (indicating that the From/Subject lines were good enough to get you to open the message) and perhaps validated the email address as being "live." I haven't seen them, but I'd imagine that the images are drop-dead gorgeous, and will get many recipients to click through. Aarrgh!
Back to the message subjects. How any marketer in his/her right mind could classify me as an ideal target for any of these promotions is beyond a mystery:
- I stopped watching pro football before Steve Young stopped playing football.
- Arthritis and tedonitis have kept me away from video games since the days of ColecoVision.
- I have taken exactly two round-trip (and no one-way) airline voyages since the beginning of the year 2001.
- I get a new car approximately every 15 years, and I'm currently leasing the one I drive now until I buy it at the end of the lease.
This outfit, on behalf of its paying clients, fired three torpedos my way. As they say in the game Battleship: Miss! Miss! Miss!
But they lie.Posted on February 01, 2006 at 03:23 PM