One of the more interesting phenomenas in direct e-mail marketing of late has been the proliferation of "Christian" debt advisor and dating services. A few of these services popped up at the end of last year but starting in April, it has been Noah's Flood of supposed Christian-based appeals. And lately, the graphics in these messages, which started pretty sedately, have gone evangelical. And the other strange thing... there seems to be a heck of a lot of Christians based in Boca Raton, Fla.!
The more I follow the e-mail space, the more I realize that virtually no one really understands what's going on, including those directly involved in the industry. Like any complicated advertising space, people have a tendency to knee jerk in their reactions, see everything in black and white terms, and have a very simplistic view, or better - simplified view of the marketplace.
Last week I misidentified Azoogle as the list sender of the pseudo JibJab ad, when in fact it was sent by an affiliate that has done work with the Azoogle ad network, but not with this ad. As much as I hate making a mistake, it did give me a chance to talk to Joe Speiser, co-founder of Azoogle and learn more about what they are up to these days.
One of the biggest issues facing legitimate high-volume, e-mail marketers is their inability to monitor their own affiliate network and third party e-mail brokers. I didn't realize this until I found out from my own customers. The product we sell, CETS, was originally designed to provide marketers with competitive intelligence in the e-mail space, but once we started showing it around and selling licenses, almost half the licenses we sold were to e-mail marketers who were using it to monitor their own e-mails, not their competitors.