E-marketing a victim of war against spam

Last month’s e-volve (MW June 26) reported that MPs have launched an all-party “spam summit” in an attempt to combat the problem of unsolicited e-mail.

But where does this leave the multi-million pound e-mail marketing industry? Legitimate e-mail marketing and spam are worlds apart. But the unfortunate fact is that they are repeatedly thrown into the same pot by the anti-spam brigade.

The inference is that all e-mail marketing is “spam” or “junk”. But it is vital that we distinguish between the two. Legitimate e-mail marketing is permission-based and targeted, the sender makes it clear from the outset who the e-mail is from, and the recipient is clearly given the opportunity to opt-out. Spam is the antithesis of this – it is illegal, unsolicited, uncontrolled and irrelevant.

While I firmly support the anti-spam lobby, we run the risk of killing our e-mail marketing industry while the spam epidemic continues to flourish. Without a fundamental shift in attitude through proper education, discussion and control, the problem of spam will never disappear.

I would suggest an informed and open debate led by a reputable publication such as Marketing Week. The malpractice and misinformation disseminated by spammers and anti-spammers alike must be openly discussed so that solutions can be put into place that leave the legitimate e-mail marketing industry free from interference.

Mike Williams

Chief executive

E-Relationship Marketing

Milton Keynes

E-mail address for letters: mw.editorial@centaur.co.uk

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