Two days back I stumbled upon a website that offered some kind of software free of charge. Well, you know that the word FREE attracts our forefinger to act faster then our brain could think. So the clicking was done and there it was - the "downloading is completed."
So, I just clicked the icon of the newly downloaded application and a small windows appeared. It was full of information. Combination of new and old stuff. There is one particular topic that interests me a lot. It is about spam aka junk e-mail aka bulk e-mail. This is how the subject was discussed:
You already know what ordinary bulk mailing is. Those who don't like it call it JUNK MAIL. Those who like it and employ it call it DIRECT MARKETING.
The average household in America gets some 185 pounds of DIRECT MAIL MARKETING materials or JUNK MAIL every year. Perhaps 90% of it gets tossed - much of it unopened. So, why all those catalog companies and other concerns keep deforesting the landscape to keep the JUNK MAIL coming?
Simply this: of the 10% of the JUNK MAIL that does get looked at, some 2% gets acted upon - out of that 2% is enough generating billions of dollars in sales revenues for its senders every year.
So some see it as JUNK MAIL, lots of people are getting rich on it. Even a response rate as little as 1.5% can translate into profits for those sending DIRECT MARKETING materials, through the postal system.
Sure everybody says they hate JUNK MAIL but the fact is all of us respond to at least some DIRECT MAIL several times a year.
And if JUNK MAIL suddenly stopped life just might get a little boring.
The Advent of Spam.
With the coming of Internet and e-mail, 100 watt light bulbs popped on above the heads of innovative marketing gurus everywhere. Just as each PO Box represent a potential customer, behind every cryptic e-mail address lies a prospect. And where there's prospect there's a potential sale.
Anyway the "in-the-know" community of early internet users quickly tagged unwanted e-mails as SPAM. Unwanted e-mail or SPAM has a certain way of enraging a particular class of internet users. Just a few years ago, anyone brave enough to SPAM someone could certainly expect to be flamed royally in return - and believe you me, those flames got real ugly.
Why should it be the case is a real mystery to many would-be internet marketers.
* SPAM is easily disposed off. It takes only a fraction of a second to delete it from an e-mail box.
* Unlike regular DIRECT MAIL, it does not require the destruction of trees and other natural resources, creating pollution and environmental degradation.
* DIRECT E-MAIL is useful. It makes shopping convenient and brings news and information about products that could better lives.
* DIRECT E-MAIL is good for the economy. It represents a new, more efficient way to market and sell products, creating jobs, wealth and prosperity.
Perhaps for all of the above, most internet users are slowly, slowly coming to accept the presence of SPAM in their daily cyber-lives. Those who hates SPAM the most are most likely who fit the profile of the early internet user, college professor and computer scientist and early computer geeks for example, who used to have the internet all to themselves. It is this kind of of individuals who have the greatest reason to resent the intrusion of SPAM. To them, what was once a pristine wilderness inhabited only by a few bold explorers was suddenly being invaded by scads of shoddy hucksters, conducting all kinds of unserious and God forbid commercial activity within the sacred domains of the internet.
But times change. The internet is no longer an exclusive club. The internet is very fast becoming "everybody" with capital E. Cyberspace is the world's greatest democracy. Just as about everyone has a postal address, it won't be long before all the same have an e-mail address. And although DIRECT E-MAIL is still equated with the plaque in many quarters , the weather is changing. As more and more young people grow up with the internet, and think of the internet as a normal life, SPAM is increasingly going to become a normal fact of life. And those who are braving ahead today with their mass e-mail campaigns are going to to beat all the late comers to the richest and still relatively untapped market in the world. That's because they are going to know what does work and what doesn't.
Late comers to internet marketing will be in constant state of catch-up - that's because things change on the net as fast as the latest computer model becomes obsolete.