Unsolicited EMail ... and Other Things
Original Published March, 1996
Updated August 23, 2000
It is with no small reluctance that I print the following letter ... with SoCoOL Bob commentary. This is actually a letter I got from one of the marketing newsgroups. It is EXTREMELY well written, and represents a point of view that it appears to this author, is in the majority, at least in terms of the views one sees published on the INTERNET, and with which I unfortunately disagree. Now I must try to disagree, without being disagreeable, without being "affected" by potentially negative feelings ... and .... and this is the part that concerns me and should concern everyone who seriously engages in this debate .... without .... incurring the wrath of someone who believe it is then "justified" to "BOMB" me ... deliberately inflict pain .... and/or threaten and/or actually pursue trying to have me "THROWN OFF THE INTERNET."
This document was created in 1995. Having had the experience of trashing 200 or more such emails a day, for a couple of years ... I don't know ô¿~

From: "Brad Miller"
Organization: Cybersurf Inc.

Subject: How to stop junk E-mail and why you should help!

I find it amazing to listen to and watch the continued debate about E-mail spamming or Junk E-mail. As a professional educator and researcher, I inform all my participants in my marketing classes not to use a junk E-mail strategy. This is for a number of good reasons:

Hopefully these are just words ... amazed that people disagree about the use of "Unsolicited Mail?" I have no problem with "recommending" people not use "Unsolicited Mail." My partner, Thomas A. Most, for one, agrees. I couldn't say for sure, but based on reading a lot in newsgroups .. it would appear most people currently accept the notion that it is unacceptable to send UNSOLICITED EMAIL ... and that any enforcement mechanism they choose is O.K.

* The first is it does not work and it creates problems.

Unfortunately ... I cannot agree with this. Unsolicited Mail, of any kind, does work. Using sound principles of marketing to contact as many people as possible with a message that will definitely be of interest to some ... works ... and certainly can be an effective marketing tool.

* Their are better methods and they produce greater results.

As a professional, I'm sure that one has statistics, demonstrations, and other things, designed to have this "FACT" be established in the mind of someone who would not find this mere statement "FACTUAL."

The companies and persons using Junk E-mail are trying to kill the golden goose and are attempting to steal money from the pockets of sales and marketing professionals like ourselves.

Whoops ... here comes the "name calling." Here comes I'm better than you. Here comes a definite potential human relations problem.

If the level of junk mail grows a large target market will become unavailable for our own businesses.

I agree that an excess of "Unsolicited EMail" could cause a "functional problem," but I also wonder if this isn't the "boogie man," or if the priorities concerning potential negative consquences aren't misguided. I wonder what the writer would say will occur, down the road, if the population in general, and the INTERNET population in particular, continue to believe that the overall good is served when one group restricts the FREEDOM of others because they say so. That's what the definition says ( This is the MCI guidelines with regard to UNSOLICITED EMAIL .... I am told that included in this policy statement is the THREAT that if an ISP gets a certain number of Complaints ... the ISP in question could be rendered incapable of doing business) a certain number of COMPLAINTS ... if someone complains. This is giving POWER over what is supposed to be one of our most cherished privelages to PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN !!! This makes impossible the notion that even "attempts" at POSITIVE BEHAVIOR should be encouraged and reinforced. It BUILDS in FEAR of the BIG PENALTY coming from some SELF RIGHTEOUS COMPLAINER. The someone who complains is the same person who believes that an acceptable REMEDY is to send YOU 10,000 EMails ... A DAY ..... This is not the person we should trust to "enforce" our "morality." This person spends most of their time performing NEGATIVE ACTIONS against those with whom they disagree. Enter SoCoOL Bob on his white horse saying .... the Issue of UNSOLICITED EMAIL will be successfully resolved when parties on BOTH SIDES do their humanly best to be considerate of the GENUINE wants and needs of the other .... when the many INCREDIBLE benefits of FREEDOM and FREE THINKING .... and mutual consideration are INCLUDED in the Equation ... perhaps even as MORE VALUABLE then space on someones harddrive or time it takes to dump a piece of unwanted mail.

In my web based marketing, Internet for business and my basic Internet courses, I have Included a new section on how to deal with companies and persons who violate the culture and recommendations against junk E-mail.

Ah GREAT !!! A positive solution that will work for everyone?

I am posting this information so that people who wish to continue to use the potential of the Internet for direct sales and marketing can protect the market place from these criminals who are out to destroy the value of the Internet.

Oooops ... here comes the "boogie man" again.

How To Deal With Spammers And Junk E Mail_

A small number of irresponsible and uneducated marketers are sending junk e mail or posting into the Usenet without contributing to the dialogue and knowledge networking taking place.

Callers to Rush Limbaugh are famous for saying ??? (ditto)

This practice is both immoral, unethical and in some locations around the world criminal. It is not an effective method of marketing so you should avoid using these methods. If your competition is using these methods your should confront them. If you or your clients are receiving Junk E-Mail you should provide them with the following information:

We're beginning to couch our "argument" in Morality, Religion, Law and the clear establishment of the morally acceptable ... These guys are the bad guys. Personally, I am a subscriber to the notion that the Number One Sin is the Sin of Self Righteousness. Who wins in an "argument?"

A good site giving you information on how to use e mail for your marketing programs is located at:

Aha ... personally I appreciate gathering as much information as possible. Not because it's all good or useful .... but, because, for example, even if I glance through 50 pieces of bad information, I have improved my chances for finding the one good morsel that, translated to action, can improve results.

http://www.webcom.com/~cybernet/emailmny.shtml.
This will provide you and your violating competitor with good guide-lines that you can follow to prevent problems.

You can also provide your clients who receive Junk E-mail links to the following sites:

http://arh0062.urh.uiuc.edu/cancel.faq
http://www.cm.org
These sites contain information about cancelbots, how to make and use them. A cancelbot searches the net to locate and remove e-mail to the Usenet or to find Junk E-mail from a specific author or sender location. A new program that have been developed is called UDP or Usenet Death Penalty. This program is an auto canellation program designed to kill e mail to or from specific sites or authors.

Sounds like a positive solution .... One person acting to create a better situation for themself. Unfortunately, we have created a situation where the "immoral" "criminal" may "in our view" have no rights, so we won't be asking the question what rights the sender. Are these solutions all directed at merely protecting myself?

A homepage that all marketers should know and visit is called the Interent blacklist Of Internet Advertisers. This home page is where most product boycotts get started and where you should send messages to when you get junk e mail. This site also contains information on companies who have been successfully boycotted and their apologies. In some cases apologies have not been enough these companies were forced to make contributions to charities or build large home page data sets for social agencies.

You can also advise your clients to add the offending spammers E mail address into your E-mail filter program. Most E mail programs have a filter designed to remove a group of E mail addresses or Author from being read. It will delete these messages from your in basket as soon as you start up the program. You can also obtain a new software add on called NoCeM designed by CancelMoose the unknown designer of the first cancelbot. I like it !!!

Junk E mail is not free speech and is illegal in some US states. The Feinstien bill which is also called the "on line Staking" law makes junk E mail illegal in the state of Connecticut and in a resent conference on computers, freedom and privacy, the US AG general presented a speach titled "It ought to be a crime" about junk E mail and the lifting of E mail addresses from news groups for direct E mail campaigns requires legislation as it is immoral and should be restricted by law.

See ... I have a problem with this. What is it that makes it not "free speech?" What is it different than one group "pontificating" on their own notion of right and wrong, then enforcing their opinion with force? I guess I have too much appreciation for FREEDOM and CREATIVITY to accept a solution that inhibits both. How many of us really appreciate the unique benefits that FREEDOM provides? at what price?

If you receive junk E mail you don't have to take it - fight back. Here are some simple steps that you and your company can take to deal with these criminals.

* Flame campaigns send 10 responses directly back to the offender- make your complaint long, clear and direct it to the president of the company. Place a copy in your follow up basket and pull up the fill and send 10 each day for 10 days.

How much about morality do you want to hear right now? Two wrongs? Those guys are immoral, criminal, now watch me. You see I really am better than you are. Perhaps, one difference between "Unsolicited EMail" is that ... a well done piece ... is calculated as nearly as possible to "empathizing" with the view of the people who do not want to receive it, or say they don't ... " If you would like not to receive future "Unsolicited EMail" merely reply to No Thank You and we'll see to it that you are removed from the list." I guess I'm just motivated enough by the notion that there is an EMail ... unsolicited though it may be, that even Brad would "appreciate," or at least read.

I have uncontrovertable evidence your wife is sleeping with another man !!!
The antidote is pursued with DELIBERATE MALICE ... an important component in determining a crime is the MOTIVE of the CRIMINAL ... not the OPINION of the "VICTIM." There are few perfect answers .... one can only do one's best to CONSIDER THE BENEFIT of ALL INVOLVED .... and ... IF THE BENEFIT IS SUFFICIENT ... TAKE ACTION. This response says WE CAN HURT THIS GUY .... LET's DO IT .... REGARDLESS OF WHAT HE THINKS .... FEELS ..... SAYS .... ETC. ETC. I can''t help but wonder if somewhere in the soul of the person perpetrating this SOLUTION .... is .... "Thank God .... I now have an excuse to DUMP ON SOMEBODY !!!" You be the judge.
Dear Brad:

* Mail bombs - this technique requires you to up load a large file and attach it to an E mail. I suggest Son of A RFC1036 which is the acceptable use policy document let them choke on that for a while. A mailbomb is designed to overwhelm an e-mail site and have the offender removed from access to the internet. If you send enough files you will create such a backlog that the E mail address will have to be shut down from use or it will take months to clear all the messages.

Am I the only one that sees where we're going with this? Brad's approach encourages FEAR and INTIMIDATION. Opinion: The number one block to personal growth is FEAR. Brad's approach has as yet, in my opinion, failed to see things from the other persons point of view, his solution denies their existance. Brad is at risk of becoming the Leader of the Gulls. His solutions could, in my opinion, be improved, if they followed the moral imperative to consider the "good" of the "other guy." Convince me ... don't KILL ME.

* Contact your lawyer. If your competitor is using Junk E mail he is damaging your business and you can take legal action against them. * Contact you professional associations and report these individual for unprofessional conduct.

Contact Your Lawyer? I recall, having attended Law School myself, that the fourth case in Prosser's Restatement of Torts ( personal injury law ) clearly states that at Law, there is no harm in ASKING.

* Send e mail to the sysadmin@...... requesting that this violator and his web pages be removed from access to the Internet.

If one negative action doesn't work ... take another. Keep increasing the strength and power of the negative until it works ... in destroying the adversary. What role does "turn the other cheek play in this approachs morality?

* Follow up the junk E mail postings of your customers. This is an opossums for your business to obtain greater market share and to build your on line reputation. Send a copy of your lawyers letter to both the customer and to the offending company. People like to do business with people who look after their interests.

The rules of good human relations only apply if you "want" to make a friend.

* If you find a spam in a usenet group - take a leadership role. Post information on how to use a cancelbot and forward a copy of your posting to the Internet Blacklist. Remember these companies and persons are attempting rob your pockets and future by destroy the value of the Internet and its marketing potential.

Make your message

* direct and agressive.
* professional.
* demand a retraction and apology on behalf you news group, clients or listserve group.
* document your companies willingness to abide by the acceptable use policies of the Internet
* include your signature file and your home page address.
* be bold and demand that this company stop harassing and miss using the internet.
* copy in you political representative and your local chamber of commerce. * issue a local press release to your own media. ( Local company defends clients rights!)
By being a good citizen and defender of the Internet you will win the respect, admiration and business of member of the Internet community as well as protecting your own business. Always make use of this type of opportunity as it will lead to increased revenue and a good reason to highlight your business to your target market.

In my personal marketing, I have found an effective solution that I rather like, and may work for others as well. I file unsolicited in a Folder entitled "Make Them Prospects." I look to see what I like best about the message, then send a reply that compliments them on their "product, service, message, etc." then politely suggests that persons with these characteristics have often been interested in this good idea as well. How 'bout you?

How about sending a piece of "Unsolicited EMail" to millions of people suggesting that if they agree with the "obscenity" of "Unsolicited EMail," they should immediately begin doing business with you. Anyone want to guess at your rate of return?

Brad MIller
President Excalibur Training & Research

Knowledge is no longer power. The ability to apply knowledge is the only true source of power (403) 285 7509 Consulting, Training, Inhouse workshops and public seminars Key note speaking engagements can be booked though Talk Shop International Calgary.

Knowledge in Action is power. In what way can the INTERNET community conduct itself so as to maximize the benefits available to all ... regardless of a momentary snapshot of their opinions?

Here is an approach I prefer The post that follows is an honest reaction to unsolicited e-mail taken from one of the marketing newsgroups.

From: Peter Kim

Subject: Worldwide Lead network: Unsolicited e-mail question

Has anyone from these lists (market-l, internet marketing, or internet sales) seen a sharp rise in unsolicited e-mail?

I today received one from group @ successful.net (WLN Support Group) about some Worldwide Lead Network, subject: Urgent Message.

I can only assume that my e-mail address was taken from one of these lists. Therefore, I must assume that these e-mail solicitations are coming from a member of these lists. With all the discussions about the negative effects and results of unsolicited e-mail that has occurred on these lists, one would suppose that anyone on these lists would know better.

I'm not going to flame. I'm not going to suggest running up their 800 number. I'm just going to ask you to STOP IT!

Thanks.
Peter Kim

You may know how I feel about ASK !!!


Carl Koopman (ckoopman@netzone.com)

I am flat out against unsolicited junk email.

I don't buy the argument that junk mail is okay on the internet because it is permitted by the US postal service.

1. I am renting time on the internet and I have the right to be private. My US Postal Service mail box doesn't cost me and I dont have to spend money to receive their junk.

2. When junk mailers buy postage they are paying for each piece. When they spray email mailboxes it is at the expense of the internet concept.

Please do not become a vehicle for junk mailers to pepper my email box.

Your Opinions are Important to Us!


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Warning ... UNSOLICITED EMAIL .... Part Two ... Some Content May Be Offensive To Some People ... You can tell if you're one of them if this disclaimer isn't enough for you.




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