Riding Big Bird

In a few hours I'll be flying from San Francisco to Berlin to speak at Online Educa and, frankly, to enjoy the Christmas markets, museums, and sites of the Vaterland and London. While time is short, some things are too juicy to resist. Now that my book on marketing eLearning internally has been published, I am ever more alert to stupid marketing tricks. Take this email. Please.

Your privacy is extremely important to us. You are receiving this offer because you subscribed to receive third-party offers at, itsimazing.com, an affiliated site. If you feel you have received this message in error or if you wish to unsubscribe, please see our remove instructions below. Please enjoy the network and all the opportunities it brings you.

For example, this email invited me to pursue an advanced degree at an accredited university. Now, I've already got all the degrees I have the patience to earn, but others are shopping hard. Let's get inside their heads. "Oh, yeah, I want to earn a masters from that university that sends me Spam, contest offers, and a chance to win a color TV. A school that reconciles respecting my privacy while inundating me with uninvited sales pitches. That's bound to be a prestige school." Duh.

HOW DID I GET ONTO YOUR LIST? At some point you registered at an Internet site, specific newsletter or contest that had a Privacy Policy that stated that they may choose a few partners who will send you valuable offers. RhinoRewards was selected as one of those partners. RhinoRewards is committed to delivering special offers that include valuable discounts and sweepstakes opportunities only to people who want to receive them. If you have received this in error, please UNSUBSCRIBE from future mailings by clicking here and following on screen instructions. Or simply write to us at: RhinoRewards.com, Customer Service, P.O. Box 7045, Delray Beach, FL 33482. You can also review our full Privacy Policy. For any questions or complaints, please contact us at: [email protected] This e-mail message may be a recurring mailing.

Spam is to sharing information as pollution is to manufacturing. Or as grafitti vandals are to granite buildings. It gums up the works. It wastes my time. It hurts the environment. Usually (like DeVry's ad above), it's self-defeating. You want my respect? Don't Spam me.

By the way, SpamAssassin runs on my server now and has been throwing away 80% of my Spam before I ever have to look at it. I get the service as part of the package from my ISP.

Posted by Jay Cross at November 23, 2002 05:43 PM | TrackBack

I think the whole practice of selling mailing lists to 'partner' affiliates is extremely questionable and should be banned. Usually one has to opt *out* of such scams. Ie. on an application form, there will be a checkbox you have to tick in order to ensure that the company in question doesn't sell your details to all and sundry!!! Surely one should have to opt *in*....

Posted by: Mark Butler - i have a thirst for inquiry at May 10, 2004 03:55 PM

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