Does Working For The Man Upstairs Give You The Right To Spam?

Posted in Rants

‘Tis the season for peace, joy… and spamtastic holiday emails! No, this isn’t a rant about eCommerce direct email marketing campaigns– though life certainly would go on without explosive email blasts every morning at 3:25 am from a certain popular clothing store just itching to promote sweater sales & shipping discounts. The luxury of crossing everything off that mile-long gift list in a cool 60 minutes of online shopping whilst wearing sweats & slipper booties, sipping coffee spiked with Baileys is totally worth those pesky, more-often-than-not opt-out email blasts.

Our digital culture has almost grown accustomed to seasonal junk mail– sure, it kind of sucks, but it’s part of the package deal: with online shopping comes emails about online discounts, etc. However… when that holiday spam-mail isn’t coming from a chain retail store, but a church… and the recipient is a feisty marketer… eyebrows contort Grinch-style in curiosity, and the question begs to be asked: WWMWD?

Yes, what would Marty Weintraub do?  What indeed…
‘Twas the night before Saturday, December 11th, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring until BZZ BZZ went the smartphone at 11:37 PM, pulling Marty out of a  warm, cozy, productive, coffee-fueled book writing sesh. The couldn’t-wait-til-morning news? An email blast from church located about 2.5 hours south of Duluth, announcing its “~ CHRISTMAS BY THE CREEK in Maple Grove.”

Bothered by the needless break in concentration, the inclusion on an opt-me-in-without permission list, and the glaring lack of “Unsubscribe” functionality, Marty sent a simple request-reply:

To which he received this response from the sender the following morning:

To which Marty replied, at length:

To which the sender replied in a less hostile, less sarcastic fashion: “Joy & Noel to yours as well Marty. I.ll be sure to remove U from my list. Sorry I bothered you.”
Well then, conflict resolved! The spirit of the holiday season lives on. So… what is the moral of this story?
  • Don’t use the holidays as an excuse for sending spam emails?
  • Don’t use the type of content (in this case, religious) as an excuse for sending spam emails?
  • Don’t send opt-out / opt-me-in-without permission email blasts. (Dude, write this one down.)
  • Don’t send opt-me-in-without permission email blasts unless the message includes an “Unsubscribe” link?
  • Don’t send spam? (Period!)

Whatever the takeaways, we know now what Marty would do did. What about you? Does this instance make your skin crawl or is it a simple case of shrug-off inbox noise?

photo credit: slworking
  • Justin Hornung

    The ability to express one’s displeasure both politely and professionally, particularly to unsolicited spam, is a dying art. Kudos to Marty for not getting dirty. :)

  • Will Scott

    Poor fellow doesn’t know not to spam in the name of the baby-Jesus and has no spell-check either.

    Ho, ho, ho!

  • Lauren Litwinka

    @Justin – I second that well-articulated kudos. Thanks for taking the time to share it here :)

    @Will – A double whammy no-no. For shame, for shame! Cheers :)

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I would have done exactly what Marty did, regardless of the sender! Nothing worse than spam holiday emails and we get tons of them!

  • Lauren Litwinka

    @Nick – Yes, right on! The ironic part is Marty’s initial response was completely legit, not to mention sanitized of personal emotion. “Remove” is totally the right way to respond to a mass email when you want to be taken off the list. Only after the unnecessary snarktastic response from the sender does Marty go all… well, Marty :)

  • Online reader

    Nobody has the right to spam, even for the man upstairs. How can spammers be controlled by the law anyway? Contradictory I guess but let me tell you if I had a poweful position worldwide their would be an organization prosecuting the spammers dont care who they work for.

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