The temptation among internet marketers to SPAM is greater than ever. By now, most people know that SPAM isn't the popular food from Hormel but a pseudonym for "unsolicited commercial email," also known as UCE.
SPAM is a definite no-no. It's also the quickest way to destroy your online reputation.
Unlike conventional mail, unsolicited email can provoke a hostile, negative, and destructive reaction. There are individuals on the Web who will contact your Internet Service Provider, harass you, "bomb" your server with countless emails and do everything possible to either shut you down or generally make your online life miserable.
There have been instances where marketers have sent SPAM to recipients with great results. The benefits are only short-term, however.
"Netiquette" allows for the selective transmission of emails to recipients who have expressed an interest in specific subjects or topics related to what you offer because they have "opted-in" to an email directory or source.
Purchasing email addresses from an "opt-in" source is considered to be acceptable but should still be approached carefully. Make sure the lists are up to date, highly qualified and originate from a "double opt-in source.".
There are other methods available that are appropriate to the Internet and do not risk the wrath of SPAM. Banner advertising and ads on ezines, or electronic magazines or newsletters, are cost-effective and highly targetted.
Geoff Caplan is a professional online marketing consultant and copywriter with eleven years of continuous experience. His diversified background includes search engine marketing, e-commerce strategy and online public relations. He has lectured extensively on subjects related to online marketing and has worked for some of the Web's highest traffic brands, including eDiets and myTravelUSA.