Please don’t sell my mailbox…

July 10, 2010 4:14pm
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You know, I wish there was a way to track back junk mail that you get so you could see the actual point at which a mailer acquired your address.

At least for me, I’d use this information to decide who I’m going to do business with.

Out of the blue within the last week, I’ve started getting random advertising that’s very specifically targeted to publishers … interesting to me because, hmmmm, I’m publishing a book right now. Now as far as I can tell, there are probably only two companies that I’ve been dealing with who these might’ve originated from – the company whom I purchased my ISBNs from (who everyone does), and the printer itself. Unfortunately I have no real way of knowing, aside from just asking, but let’s not kid ourselves…

Sure, I know that companies make a lot of money off selling their customer lists to 3rd parties, but that doesn’t make it right. Besides, snail mail is pretty much dead in my eyes, anyways – aside from Netflix and Christmas cards, there aren’t a whole lot of worthwhile things that come out of our mailbox anymore and almost all of that crap just ends up in the trash. I’m not sure which is worse – a waste of my attention, or simply the waste of paper.

Still, I think it’s kind of a shitty thing when companies take advantage of their customers like that. I mean, it’s one thing for Target to send me a mailer with coupons every other month because at one time I bought something from their website, but don’t share my info with people who aren’t even you! I rarely even want your junk mail, let alone the unsolicited junk mail of some random 3rd party who just happened to be the highest bidder for your list. Here’s a thought – why not maintain a high quality list of customers who are interested in your own products, and then fine tune your marketing to use it for your own benefit?! Wouldn’t you rather keep the customers both happy and more importantly, paying you than pissing us off by throwing other offers down our throats???

What’s that? It’s more profitable to just sell off our info and let somebody else gamble on that next potential sale??? Only as long as us consumers don’t know who sold us out, it might be…

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