Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

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.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: