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500 emails for 20 signups = 96% off target.

>> By May of 2015 I had sent over 30,000 sales and marketing emails

.96 × 30,000 = You just annoyed ~28,800 people. It's only because this immense amount of time lost is borne by strangers that it's a viable business.

Let's not glorify spammers.

A 4% signup rate actually signifies really well targeted emails. Not everyone who doesn't sign up is annoyed by the mail (or did even open or read it). I think this is far from beeing spam, where you would see signup rates well below 1%.

Spam generally includes unsolicited and unwanted emails, targeted or not.

Sure, but it also generally means large quantities of those (regarding email I don't think 30k qualifies as large quantities). My personal definition would be that the messages were sent without any thought if the audience might be interested in the content and that does not appear to be the case here. If your personal definition is that every email you receive ,that you did not ask for in some way yourself, is spam then thats ok. But as a general definition thats a bit strict.

It's unsolicited bulk email, and bulk is generally > 10 or so for most people, > 1 if you are strict.

I'm just trying to differentiate between this guy who is sending 30k emails to people that might likely be interested in his business and some viagra seller that sends ten million emails a day to any address he can get his hands on.

That's a question of scale. A drop of sewage in a barrel of wine or a cup of sewage in a barrel of wine have the same effect.

What is the barrel of wine in your analogy? Your personal inbox or email as a whole? I don't think my inbox would be ruined by a single email from that particular guy.

Your personal definition isn't what matters here. This is spam. See wikipedia for this definition:

"Email spam, also known as junk email, is unsolicited messages sent in bulk by email"

As I replied in another place here: It depends on what you define as bulk. My personal definition is what matters to me and everybody is free to have their own.

No, your personal definition doesn't matter. If you buy/scrape a list of email addresses, and send to ANY of those addresses, that's spam. I work for an email marketing software company. That's the definition used in the industry. >0 unrequested emails is spam.

If you've never spoken to this person before, you have no business relationship with them, and they have not opted in to receive mail from you, you are an email spammer. You can mince words if you have to to sleep easy at night, but this behavior is wrong.

The author of the article did something shady and you are defending him.

Agreed but how do you establish the relationship in the first place?

Then only options I see is to a) hope google finds you interesting enough, b) paid advertising, or c) word of mouth.

What are the other methods ? I am asking because I can't think of anything else.

Have you considered that this type of marketing is actually counterproductive? If a company spams me, and I notice it, it's guaranteed that I will avoid them like the plague, regardless of how good their service is. This is poisoning the well. It might get >5% of the people spammed interested, but what if the other 95%?

It doesn't work like that, for two reasons:

1) If the mail you receive actually interests you, you wouldn't classify it as "spamming" ("Did I really sign up for that? Anyway it sounds good"). If not you may avoid them in the future, but you would not have bought their product anyhow.

2) Scale: If a (real) spammer sends out 20 million emails and 0,0001% buy viagra. Thats fine for him. The other Emails cost him close to zero, so every sale it profit.

To build on this: it will result in mail classifiers treating your future emails (even if they're actually solicited) as spam. So not only is it counterproductive (or at the very least inefficient) for generating leads, it's also textbook self-foot-shooting.

Working for an email marketing company you will aknowledge that something like "email marketing" exists. So there is a way to do this right. Maybe I haven't read TFA closely enough, but I didn't see him mentioning scraping or buying the emails. Maybe that was implied by the number IDK. Initially I just replied to a comment mentioning 4% signup rate and categorizing that as spam, while I thought that rate looks actually quite good. It kind of escalated from there :)

Email marketing can also include newsletters and emails to existing customers (in fact, the latter is the vast majority of the "email marketing" I receive).

Of the two above, the latter is probably the spammiest, and might technically count as "spam" since they're unsolicited, but they're generally (in my opinion) targeted sufficiently well enough to be acceptable/tolerable. In excess, though, they can quickly cross that line into being unquestionably spam.

I generally consider "emails to existing customers" to be [bacn](https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-21830739), in that they're neither ham nor spam.

"My personal definition of littering is what matters to me and everybody is free to have their own."

> A 4% signup rate actually signifies really well targeted emails.

You're spamming 25 people to get one sign up? That sounds terrible.

Well if you send an email to 25 people and 1 one of them actually takes time to read it, click and fill out a signup form, chances are pretty high that more of the other 24 somewhat liked it. Most likely 20 of them didn't even bother to open the email.

SPAM is any unwanted email, phone call, SMS, or other form of contact.

SPAM is defined by the recipient, not the sender. Thus, if you're trying to justify something as "not spam" by saying it meets or doesn't meet some criteria, then it's probably SPAM.

Sounds like advertising. I don't want any ads in my imgur feed. I don't want any ads in the magazines I _BUY_ I don't want any ads in the movies I PAY to go to watch (trailers and "buy candy and popcorn clips").

If an email is an email about a thing or service which is related to my interests, but I don't recognize the company, I suppose that falls under spam, but that's better than random emails for prescriptions or scams.

...doesn't that imply that emails are just a garbage method of communication more than anything else? I can't remember the last time I didn't immediately hit "spam" on an e-mail I didn't specifically request/expect.

I agree. 4% is very high. I was a sales rep for some tech equipment. We were about 1%.

Agreed, the first thing I thought was 'Where did he get a list of 30,000 email addresses?' Buying lists is technically illegal in the US. Sure, the chances of you being hauled in are slim to none, but it's still slimy as hell.

This guy built a side hustle nefariously.

I have a motor control IC. I look for robot manufacturers and read their company websites for contact info. I call or email them to schedule a presentation. Some say OK. Some don’t . This is just basic cold calls.

Maybe someone can be so good, majority of leads end up buying the motor IC. But 4% of response is quite high in my experience.

You really have no idea how cold emails work do you? It must be a total mystery to you why companies like Constant Contact exist.

"By May of 2015 I had sent over 30,000 sales and marketing emails so I knew how to get high response rates"

It's clear that the author meant he had experience with sending mail, not that he sent 30k mails about THIS product.

What is the line between marketing and spamming?


How can you consent to learn about something you don't know about? This is a very different idea to me and I'm trying to understand where you're coming from.

IMO, if i did not sign up for information regarding a product, its spam. If i want something, i will go look for it. I don't want random strangers trying to sell me something, especially when they have no idea what i need.

What if the random stranger is telling you about something you do want, but didn't know you wanted?

If the address on an email list was obtained via some other party that the address was voluntarily submitted to (say, a service with a ToS that included sharing your email address with "partners"), then consent was already established. Doesn't mean it isn't still shady.

Unless it was specified for what purpose the email was obtained, consent isn't established.

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