One of the loopholes in the Can-Spam laws is in the area of identification. The laws require the sender of an e-mail solicitation to identify themselves via postal address in the e-mail body. Anyone who has actually gone to some of these addresses listed in many high-volume e-mail addresses (like I have) will soon discover that they are standing in front of the local UPS store and a bank of rented mail boxes. In fact, I would venture to guess that if they passed legislation banning e-mail completely, we'd see UPS' revenue take a big hit.
They say that first impressions are the most lasting. Then why do so many companies make such a lousy first impression when it comes to their e-mail strategy? Last week I did an experiment. I tried to opt-in to receive e-mails from 246 different brands in the apparel and accessories market sector. All of the brands were large brands listed in the Brandweek Directory. Out of the 246 brands attempted, I was able to sign up for unique e-mails from 71 brands. Some of this was due to that fact that multiple brands listed in Brandweek Directory all resolved to ...
Last week you got a double dose of the Email Insider due to an error on my part. By mistake, I sent my editors a 2003 article on Rich Media. Interestingly, I received a lot of mail about how insightful I was even though the article was two years old. I'm either ahead of my time, or the same issues never go away, so I could start recycling articles from 2000 and see if anyone notices. My guess is, they won't.
Editors' Note: MediaPost is re-sending the E-mail Insider due to a glitch whereby a previous column was sent by mistake. We regret the error. On the front page of Tuesday's New York Times there is a long article that basically makes the case that the Can-Spam laws have actually increased the volume of unwanted e-mail marketing messages (or UEMM - a term which I'm trying to coin starting with today's E-mail Insider: a much more descriptive term than spam).