Thursday, September 4, 2008

Helpful advice

Here is some good advice from Thom Singer, which is posted on his blog, Some Assembly Required. He appears also to be a SOB.

It's about what to do when a friend sends you SPAM. And we're not talking the canned meat, Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam, glorious Spam.

I get some amount of SPAM from friends, but it doesn't really bother me. Yet.

Thom responds to a woman who wrote to him about the husband of a friend who was SPAMming her with a newsletter, via ConstantContact, an "email marketing solution":

We all know "takers" and those whom are part of our life, but whom we do not respect in a business environment. While this is annoying, in the end you want to be respectful. I don't think you can just tell him to "buzz-off", so in my opinion you have three choices:

In short, he told her she could just delete the annoying emails, set up another email account for "junk" mail and tell the guy that she's redirecting his newsletter there, or find something positive in what she received and then tell him although she found that helpful, she's much to busy and explain how bad she would feel just deleting his newsletter.

It's not easy for people, especially those who are self-employed, to make a 'go' of it these days (I point you in the direction of downtown Newburyport), and people feel they have to market themselves constantly.

But some really take it too far. A member of my writers group told me at our last gathering that she felt she was being stalked by another woman she met casually at a meeting of local business women. The second woman runs a consultancy business here in town.

There really is a fine line between promoting yourself and scaring people.

"It takes 6 or 7 calls before I get someone to respond," a woman I know recently told me.

Well ... maybe I'm not good enough at promoting myself, but my feeling is, if what you have to offer is of interest to them, people will jump on it right away.

And boy, can't we all relate to people we know and like, but who we don't respect in a business situation? Or vice versa.

What do you think?


mary said...

This is great food for thought. I respect (and understand) that people are promoting their businesses; but I don't think it means being aggressive. (Which, frankly, is a turn-off and would deter me from doing business with them at all.)

I'm of the mindset that if you pair a good product/service with simple, geniune, and creative marketing and throw in some networking, you can get something off the ground without having to be annoyingly aggressive.

Then again, I'm not self-employed. Yet. But if/when I am, I hope I can stick with this philosophy.

Sarah Swart said...

Thom Singer needs to pull out his Chicago or AP Manual. Simply put, "whom are" is a mistake that does not reflect well on the maker. Whereas "whom we" shows appropriate respect for the final consonant... but too late.

sds said...


just to be specific, what you are talking about is not really spam.

this is someone you know trying to get you to do something. just like they showed up on your front door every day with a pamphlet.

at one point this person was given the email address.

spam is specifically sent unsolicited (which this is) and bulk (which this is not, by bulk we are talking millions of people).

i would also disagree with the resolutions. one commenter hit it right, just drop the address in the spam filter.

tell the company you don't want to be part of the list. if it was really constant contact (or a similar company) they by law have to remove you.

this usually works fine, every now and then there's a tech glitch but most companies in the business know the penalties and don't want a bad name.

and never go to a party they are at.


Gillian Swart said...

Thanks, sds. This is one of those cases of eye of the recipient, I guess. Networking sites really push you for access to your email contacts. (I never do that, by the way.)

If I gave someone my email contacts, they would have a whole slew of people who don't know me (as in people on the same email list as I; we all know the person who sent it, but we don't necessarily know one another).

Take all the people in my writers group. There is an email list of all these people. Some of them have never attended a meeting, or just one meeting, but their email addresses are in my contacts. And so are people I once emailed about a story I was doing. The list(s) goes on and on.

But I agree - just drop it in the spam filter. Unless the person questions you about something they wrote in the newsletter, you should be all set!

Or avoid the person, as you suggest.