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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An email disaster

The folks at might have a useful conference of relevance to the construction industry (especially in the Washington D.C. area), but they failed in the number one rule of email marketing -- be VERY careful and thoughtful in sending out unsolicited email marketing communications.

I frankly am not sure, even after looking at the site referenced above, what the conference they are promoting is all about -- I think it has to do with military base closures and relocations). But the conference organizers used an 'open' list with dozens of names (including our own), and sent it to everyone on the list.

A few people said "take me off the list". But they hit the 'reply all' button, and so everyone on the list got the 'remove me' email. Then someone sent an email to the entire list telling everyone to be sure to send the 'remove me' note just to the list originator. Guess what, that email provoked several more 'remove me' emails -- to the entire list, including myself.

This is my vacation. I am in Israel. But in the late evening here, I can keep in touch with my own office at home and in fact tonight (Israel time) we are dealing with some important issues. But, no, bing, bing, bing, I get more and more emails relating to this brac thing.

There are simple solutions to effective email marketing; services like Constant Contact do a great job and provide a built in screening and deletion service to avoid just this type of mess -- (and produce graphically effective emails as well).

After I'm done writing this blog, I'll email the list originator and suggest he review his email marketing practices (hopefully next time I won't spend a week deleting unwanted "delete me" emails!)

P.S. Adding to the problem here is the confidentiality issue -- I now have a really large list of email names perfect for spamming -- I won't, but I think at least one of the people on the list may not have similar scruples.

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