Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Let's name them and shame them. Callum-Lee IT Solutions of South Africa. This is NOT a company you want to be doing business with. In fact, they ought to be the laughing stock of the entire world.

Let's start at the beginning. "Dear Janet", they say to me in an email. "We have this fabulous mailing list software for only R350". Or words to that effect. I presume the email is supposed to show me just how fabulous it is.

Hah. Would it not be more fabulous if this stupid company knew anything at all about sending out bulk unsolicited email. In the rest of the world, it's called Spam. And it's right up there with the Viagra, Penis Enlargements, and See Pussies up a Pole.

These finks just add email addresses to a mailing list and think they have a perfect right to plaster the world with the ads as long as they have an unsubscribe button.


I click the unsubscribe button. This is after sending them rude email replies calling them Spamming Bastards. Which they are. They can't find my email address to unsubscribe me. Will I please send them a full list of my alternative email addresses ...

I clearly have the word STUPID written in large letters across my forehead. I get enough spam from arrogant South African companies who think they have email, will send out advertising that the recipient has to pay for. And no matter how many times you report them to the ISP, nobody shuts them down.

It's reached the stage where I'd like to blacklist the whole of South Africa, and just whitelist particular email addresses.

Mind you, I think this Spammer DeLuxe company was selling internet and email lessons a while back. I recall getting spam about that too. And South African companies are paying good money to gain the contempt of the first world.

I've told them how to do it, but they don't want to know. If you want to find out how to run a decent mailing list, read on.

If you don't want to be accused of spamming - and YOU WILL BE especially if you email Europe and the US - the only way to build a mailing list is opt-in. OPT OUT IS NOT AN OPTION. And when you get an opt-in, you must verify that the person who opted in actually did do that. This is called double opt-in. You don't want people subscribing other people to spam. And about 50% of people who enter email addresses do so incorrectly, so you have to verify they have sent you the correct email address.

I, in London, do not need special offers from companies in South Africa who couldn't be bothered to check where their email is going. It's very unprofessional, for a start. And remember that most people have to pay to download this email marketing, ie you're making the customer pay to get the information, so be prepared for them to get VERY ANGRY when it's not stuff they want.
Target markets in email marketing are probably more important than in traditional marketing because of the way email has been abused. You have to be sure you are reaching the people you want.

Heaven forbid your spam lands in my email box now. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.