In the last four years I have sent money to three Democrats for very specific reasons. For the last year, I have been getting spam from every Democratic concern since. I unsubscribe only to get a email from the same place from someone of a different name. Might be John Kerry this time, Jon Vogel the next, they just switch the senders and assume that then I'll want it.
I'm not a Democrat. I don't forgo my thought process for a political party. If I have a few issues that I agree with and I support them specifically, why does the party feel that it's ok to spam me? If I shop at Sears should Kenmore, Craftsman, or other Sears brands automatically assume that I want their products and start spamming me??
It's poor business (it is a business) and frankly it will cause blow back as I'll be tired of not being able to turn them off. Has anyone else experienced this? Has anyone come up with a good way to stop it?
After-the-fact and all, but I use plus addressing with my Gmail account. If their system doesn't allow the plus-sign, I have a separate junk address that I input. And for particular instances, something like 10 minute mail works well.
I've noticed the spam too, sometime even after just contacting my representative via email; but these measures have helped to keep me sane.
As for the tactical side of it (and maybe ethical too), I find it despicable, but really no different than most other businesses out there. To cite your example, I wouldn't be surprised at all for Sears to 'sell' your information to their own sub-companies; after-all plenty of other companies will sell your info to third-parties with no affiliation.
Not to completely hijack, but on this line of thought... One of the places I used to work, we would get solicitations to buy a CD with 1 million email addresses on it; and they guaranteed that 75% of them were valid and would not bounce. The CD only cost $49.95; and I'm sure the company didn't have that much work into collecting those addresses or producing the CD, and they probably sold tons.
Then a few years ago, I read an article by one of the high-ups at Amazon.com, commenting on their policy for solicitation. He stated that they knew better than to alienate their legitimate customers with weekly spamming, but that they did send out quarterly ads via email. I don't recall exact numbers, but it was something like 1 in 10 of those emails resulted in a direct sale (people following the link from email to Amazon.com and completing a purchase); with the average being around $30.
That got me thinking, there are still plenty of people who will blindly click a link received in an email. Combining the principles of these two illustrations, say I'm selling a product for $50 just to make it easy. I buy the CD with all those addresses, and email the entire list. If ONE person in 750,000 (based off the 75% guarantee) buys my product from that email, I'm even. If TWO buy, I've made my money back. More realistically, say 1 out of every 10,000 people buys my product; I just made $3750 off a $50 investment and 10-minutes composing an email.
Bottom line, there are still people out there that fall for the spam and solicitations. As long as it keeps working they'll keep doing it.
Yep. And a frustrating reason why my snail mail box fills up. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I worked for a company for a short time that did mass mailings. Their whole business was driven by the mailings. They made millions off of the small percentage of "hits" they got.
I'll look into the other email options. That's great advice.
It will not make a difference, but I did unsubscribe from all of those (my congress persons) that I follow and noted why and who has been spamming me. Maybe it works for many, but it turns me off. I say Booo!
Yep, unsubscribe seems to seldom work with most of them (which is why I use 'other' methods to subscribe). And I think its probably is a turn-off to most; but if just a few enjoy/click-through/buy/etc, then that means it working so they'll keep it up.
One of the benefits to having my own domain. I can invent new, unique email addresses for contacts that are in danger of spamming me, and and thus tell who, if anyone, sold my address to a spammer. I can then disable that address, right after sending the original person an email letting them know that I know they spammed me and that they can write off any future business/support I might have given them.
Solid lost sales are a certain influence on behavior, more so than a simple unsubscribe.