Now, it’s not entirely fair to blame Godin, although he does engage in some amount of spam himself. No, it’s not him but the legions of email marketers out there who have adopted the “opt-in” religion as a license to harangue and bore subscriber lists, filling their inboxes with irrelevant, repetitive crap.
At TempWorks, we use a spam deterrent service called SpamFighter that does its job quite well, sending almost all unsolicited junk to my spam folder. But the one thing it doesn’t stop is the emails I get from sources that I once perhaps absentmindedly gave “permission” to send me email.
The reality is we don’t mind getting email, even if it is not opt-in, as long as it is relevant and interesting. Like yesterday, I got such an email from a guy putting on a recruitment conference here in Minneapolis. He made his invitation funny, local and a little supplicative, and guess what – I’m going to his conference.
In contrast, you have email marketing companies, even the best ones like Exact Target and its resident blogger Al Iverson (to be fair, Al’s got a good column going despite this,as does Morgan Stewart, also of Exact Target), who will tar and feather anyone that sends him an email that he didn’t specifically give permission to.
I’ve signed up with a number of these email marketing companies and astonishingly once they have you on their “opt-in” email list, they inundate you with emails about how great their opt-in service is.
Perhaps all this will work itself out and only the email marketers focusing on relevance will win out, but that seems a long ways off.