OK, time for a little seasonal rant about one of my pet hates, Marketing Spam.
My email address is pretty important to me, I use it all the time and consequently I rely on it. Its my link to friends, family, fellow wargamers and yes a handful of selected wargames companies. On the whole I guard the distribution of my email address as much as I can. Whenever I order online, or am required to enter an email address to register with a website I always make sure that I deselect myself from receiving marketing emails. These things have a way of snowballing out of control and before you know it an email address can become unusable from the sheer volume of marketing spam being sent to it (I've lost two email accounts that way), and that's just the legitimate stuff and doesn't including when your address gets passed on to 'third parties' beyond your control. But some big high street retailers clearly don't value your personal space as much as you do.
So when I started receiving marketing emails from GAME in mid October I was initially surprised because I know I had deselected myself from their newsletter and other marketing material when I placed an order with them online. Fortunately most companies now include an Unsubscribe link in their emails and I quickly did just that and thought the matter over and done with. Then I received another marketing email from GAME, and another and another.
As Christmas has approached the amount of Marketing spam being spewed out by GAME has increased to fever pitch and I am now receiving daily mailings (sometimes twice daily) for products I am not interested in and do not intend on buying. Every single time I have hit the unsubscribe button and read the same pointless message "Are you sure you want your email address to be removed from all future GAME marketing emails?" [my emphasis]...well duh, yes I @&*$#!% do!
According to a report that came out before last years Christmas rush Marketing emails accounted for 70% of all spam complaints! Seventy percent! And the vast majority of this is being vomited out by legitimate High Street companies, not by criminal gangs operating out of Russia or some other jurisdictional black hole. In October this year the consumer magazine Which? said that in a recent survey it found the the average person is receiving more than 100 marketing emails per month. Even someone who guards their email address obsessively like myself receives in excess of 60-70 per month, so what can you do to mitigate this inrush of utterly pointless rubbish?
- First and foremost try not to give your email address out of you can. If you have no choice, when registering with a site for instance, make sure you opt-out of email newsletters and third party promotional emails or you will be flooded by spam. Once it starts its hard to stop.
- Sign up to the Email Preference Service which is run by the Direct Marketing Association - The irony of having to visit the website of the organisation set up to promote email spam to get it stopped isn't lost on me, but its worth a try. It won't stop a lot of the so called permission based spam (where you have to enter an email address to use a site and aren't given a choice to opt out of emails) but it may filter out some of the mail from 3rd parties.
- Most - but sadly not all - marketing emails have an unsubscribe link. I religiously unsubscribe from 'legitimate' marketing spam and sometimes it is acted upon promptly by the company involved...GAME have a lot to learn about this! However it's important to add you should avoid responding to spam emails if you have any doubts about who has sent them.
- Here's a crafty trick...set up a junk email address only to be used when you suspect you'll receive shit loads of spam. The marketeers can spam to their black hearts content and you won't have to read any of it.
- If you have a spam filter on your email account, activate it and Block Addresses for mail you don't want to get.
Of course the only sure fire way to avoid Spam altogether is to delete your account, throw out the computer and revert to a simpler way of life where we communicated using drums or smoke signals or something. However I have adopted an even more radical approach, Spam the bastards back! I've started my own campaign and have started to send as many complaints as I can to GAME's Customer services team. If they are going to abuse my email address then I might as well take full advantage of the two way link...I know its a moskito biting an elephant but it gets some of the anger and bile off my chest!
Lee if you use gmail then you can create addresses of the format email@example.com when you sign up with retailers. Gmail ignores the + sign and any text after it so all mail will reach you. If you get spammed then it's easy to block them in gmail. Hope this helps.ReplyDelete
Damn that was clever! I shall have to try it.Delete
That is clever, I'll have to give it a try.Delete
I think my main gripe though is that if a company puts an unsubscribe link in its email then selecting that option should bloody well work! I think in this instance Game are being deliberately slow in actioning my request because its Christmas and they have a shit load of promotional emails waiting to be sent out. Clearly they don't care that this is MY email address and that I should be able to choose what happens to it. I know I opted out of marketing emails when I placed my order with them but I think they basically ignored this and have been spamming me ever since.
Lee, I worked with a guy who had his own domain, let's say svensson.se. He then set up separate email clients for every company he signed up with. Imagine contacting GAME support and saying "you sold my address to spammers", they say "no, we don't do that" and you answer "Well, firstname.lastname@example.org has only entered the internet once,when I gave it to you!"ReplyDelete
Sounds like a lot of effort, but it could be a good way to catch out those companies that pass on your address illegally.Delete
I'm with you Lee. You have to give your email to so many companies (i.e. hotels) and they automatically sign you up for mass mailing. I like then the unsubscribe option replies to you saying it may take 5 days to take you off the list. That is basically saying they will enjoy continuing sending you spam for 5 days.ReplyDelete
Mark it as spam. Problem solved. And relax.ReplyDelete
I dont get any marketing spam Lee, mainly due to using your email address to sign up to anything on the net ;)ReplyDelete
But in all seriousness I have an email account that I set up purposely for making internet purchases, and only use that address for that purpose and unless I have ordered something I dont check the account it gets spammed but as I dont use the email unless I have made a purchase it dont affect me
I use a 'dump' email address for sites where I want to sign up but don't want to give my day-to-day email, and I use the block feature to eliminate some emails. But I've found companies getting around this last feature but having multiple mailing list. You unsubscribe from one and another feker pops up like a Hydra's head. Its downright crafty and unsportsmanlike if you ask me!Delete
Is this all you've got to worry about Mr! I had to make my own dinner after coming in from work today ffs!ReplyDelete
Oh the horror! The Horror!Delete
Nice post Lee. I hate spam!ReplyDelete