Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fighting the Flow of Junk E-Mail from Direct Marketers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fighting the Flow of Junk E-Mail from Direct Marketers

Article excerpt

They go from door-to-door, they call you in the middle of dinner and they fill your mailbox with enough paper to fill a landfill. Yes, it's the varied techniques of those people we all know and love. They are the direct marketers and the techniques they employ to reach us as consumers range from the merely annoying to the truly offensive.

Now, with the Internet coming into nearly every business and household (I predict that this Christmas will be the Internet Christmas, but that's another article altogether), a whole new delivery mechanism is available for the dissemination of unsolicited junk mail.

We all have differing levels of tolerance for those people who attempt to intrude into our personal lives with "Mr. Beesley, have I got a special deal for you!" calls. Personally, I can't stand them. Nothing gets me angrier more than those folks whose mission in life it is to interrupt me during dinner, work or just when I am sitting down to read a good book, so they can deliver a sales pitch about a product I have no interest in whatsoever. It is no wonder then, that I find those who deliver unsolicited junk e-mail to be a particular loathsome creature deserving of the resurgence of the use of the guillotine as a form of execution. The term used by those who use the Internet regularly for unsolicited junk-e-mail is "spam." This is not to be interpreted as some sort of slam against the quality of the food product produced by Hormel Foods, but is rather a reference to the classic Monty Python skit. The infamous Spam Skit was one where the waiter recited the restaurant menu items to a customer by simply repeating the word Spam. "Today sir, our special is Spam with a side of Spam, some Spam, Spam and Spam," he would say. Thus Spam, when spoke of in this frame of reference, is too much of a good thing. Since I don't particularly care for the food product produced by Hormel Foods, it is my opinion that spam, when referring to the Internet, could also be interpreted as too much of a bad thing. I know many of you who have an e-mail address have at one time or another received some spam in your in-box. Seems that as of late with the increase in this type of marketing I have been getting three or four daily. The Internet provides direct marketers a new -- and more importantly, cheap -- way to reach thousands of individuals. With other types of direct marketing there is an associated cost of delivering the message that makes it cost-prohibitive to try and reach everyone. With door-to-door canvassing you must pay individuals to hit the streets, with direct mail you have to buy a stamp, and I am certain it takes no small investment to operate those call centers that are popping up nearly everywhere around town these days. This is not the case with spam. With the Internet you may be one individual with a mailing list that is all too easy to obtain and suddenly you may annoy thousands with ease. …

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