A Warning About Netiquette

A lot of “traditional” marketing wisdom falls flat on the ‘net. For example, direct mail. In the real world, you can buy a mailing list, mail off a bunch of postcards, catalogs, or whatever, get some business back from it, and repeat as needed. On the internet, you can buy mailing lists all right? but if you actually send out a mass mailing, you may find that you can’t send email any more.

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There are a lot of things that might sound like a good idea ? but before you try them, test the idea against these simple guidelines:

Will your marketing or advertising be unwelcome?
For example, if you send email to everyone on the Internet, many of them will not want to receive it, no matter how wonderful you think the offer is . Many people get hundreds of emails a day, and unsolicited commercial email (also known as SPAM) is a major waste of their time. Some of these people will take the time to have your mail server “black holed” (your mail will no longer be routed by most ISPs), while others may decide to hack in and crash your web server, burn down your house, etc. There’s no telling what people will do if you annoy them. “Road rage” was big news in 1999, will “email rage” be the big story of 2000? Don’t become a statistic. Don’t send SPAM.