Let’s talk about marketing to your customers for a minute. Let’s me use myself as an example: at the moment, I regularly play one Xbox 360 game (Borderlands) and one Windows game (Dragon Age). I just bought Dragon Age 2 recently. When I purchased Dragon Age in late 2009, I needed to register an account. As part of that registration process, I wanted to be alerted to new things related to Dragon Age. Not all games, only the game franchise I was a fan of. Electronic Arts (EA) makes the classic mistake many marketing departments make: treating all their customers the same and assuming that all customers want to know about every game. Continue reading All or Nothing Email Marketing Creates Brand Resentment
I have my personal email configured in a very particular way; I have set it up so that anything@ sent to jasondunn.com will come to me (unless it’s been previously blocked). Why do I do this? The key problem with the way email works today is that once you give someone your email address, you lose control over it – they can sell it, share it, spam you with it, etc. Worse, unlike the telephone system where the caller is identified with a number that can be blocked (with the exception of hidden caller ID of course), there’s little you can do to protect yourself from incoming spam…if you block one sender, it will just come at you from a different one. The sender on the email is rarely the person or company actually generating the email.
By using a unique email address for every newsletter I sign up for, every company I buy from, and every account I register online, I have a system for figuring out who is spamming me, who is selling my email address, and I can turn off an alias if need be. There are some negatives to this approach mind you: it doesn’t keep me completely spam free, because eventually my real email address gets out there in the wild – likely from compromised email accounts or the malware-laden PCs of people that I correspond with – but it does afford me some granular control over how companies correspond with me.
I’ve turned off more than a few aliases over the years and that kills 100% of the spam that was coming in via that alias. This method does leave me vulnerable to dictionary-based email domain attacks, or domain reply-to hijackings, but both are exceedingly rare (say, three times in the past five years). People using Gmail can do something similar to my method, though it’s not quite the same because it still exposes your real email address.
Continue reading Email Spam, Database Hacking, and Customer Trust: A Tale of Battdepot and Rupaz