How Are Your Email Relationships?

As Editor of this fine publication, I get a lot of email.

My email address is publicly displayed here, thus easily “harvested.” But here’s the thing, companies harvest my email and then subscribe to me their “opt-in” email newsletter, many of which come each week day. So, I end up opting out of something I never signed up for. Which makes me think the firms that are doing this are either dumb, cheesy or ruthless (sometimes all three).

Take Ongo as one example. If I would have discovered this company on my own terms, I might be open to their product, but that’s not the way it went down. Ongo, like so many others, simply input my email address into their database of subscribers, and that’s poor form.

Eric Groves Sr. Vice President of Constant Contact says:

Far too often we assume that since customers provide their e-mail addresses to make a purchases, we can continue to market to them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Capture” is the word commonly used to convey this approach to marketing. It’s as if we’re holding the e-mail address hostage.

Harvest. Capture. Push. These words are direct marketing words and email marketing is relationship marketing. Hence, the problem.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.