A Great New Use for Email Marketing

Christopher Marriott

My wife is fond of saying, "That's settled law." She's a lawyer, so she's supposed to say things like that. I bring this phrase up because in respectable email marketing circles, it has been conventional wisdom ever since CAN-SPAM that email is not a tool for customer acquisition. Or as my wife would say, "That's settled law." I even wrote a column related to the topic back in May 2008. (Yeah, I've been churning these babies out for a long time!) Not everyone in the industry shared this view, but those who didn't were considered little better than spammers -- people who operated on the fringes of the respectable email marketing world.

To this day, those who offer email lists for rent and those marketers who use them are generally shunned. Watchdog organizations like Spamhaus are waiting to pounce on those who practice this type of customer acquisition. God help you if there is a spam-trap in that list you just rented. Large ESPs are loathe to send out emails to addresses on rented lists for fear that their reputations will be compromised with the major ISPs, thereby negatively affecting the deliverability of all of their clients' email campaigns.

For all of these reasons, since the passage of CAN-SPAM in 2003, the email channel has been considered a tool ...

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