RealTime IT News

The Spam Article They Didn't Want You to See

Responsible spam? Frank Catalano thinks it's possible, but not so his editors, who asked that a chapter on the subject be removed from the manuscript for "Marketing Online for Dummies" published by IDG Books Worldwide.

However, ClickZ picked it up, presenting a piece that presents a more "humane" way to spam, if you will, for those who simply MUST use what is possibly the least effective Internet marketing tactic.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail is nothing more than an electronic marketing message, Catalano writes. "We've come to terms with marketing messages in every other medium--including the World Wide Web--even if it means tuning them out. Could it be that what really gets the emotional, anti-spam hackles up is genuinely fraudulent spam?"

He goes on to propose a kinder, gentler way to spam, urging e-mail marketers to "Call a spam a spam. Senders must make it clear that the message is commercial in nature, starting the subject line with "UCE:" (for Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) or "Ad:" (for Advertisement), followed by the true subject.

Other recommendations: Keep it really short; don't forge the return address; don't advertise anything offensive or illegal; don't steal the services of others; and honor all remove requests. Full text of the article is available here.

Catalano is a Seattle-based analyst and strategist for computer industry companies, as principal of Catalano Consulting. He can be reached at catalano@catalanoconsulting.com