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Marketers: Ten Surefire Ways To Irritate Me With Your Spam

A couple of days ago, a nice lady showed up on my front doorstep wanting me to participate in her survey. I politely listened to her pitch and told her (politely) that I didn’t want to participate. She then proceeded to tell me that she’d rather have “the lady of the house” participate anyway. When I told her that my wife wouldn’t be interested, either, she proceeded to encourage me to “let the lady speak for herself.”

Frankly, I was flabbergasted. Here I was at MY HOME being lectured by some solicitor on MY DOORSTEP! Unacceptable!

After stepping back inside and closing the door, I started to think more and more about the amount of junk we have to sift through in our daily lives and how distracting they can be from those activities that are important. Throughout the day, I started documenting the things that I felt distracted me and here’s the running list:

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1) Send Me Junk Mail – Really? Really? Does it really pay to kill trees and put your advertisements in my mailbox? I hardly even remember to check the mail anymore because I’ve moved on to the 21st century. I do admit that I open the ValPak coupon envelopes, but at least they offer value and put it all together in one envelope.

2) Solicit Me On My Doorstep – Stop coming to my door and trying to sell me candy, magazines, cable subscriptions, newspapers, etc…If I wanted it, I would buy it. Heck, I can even get Girl Scout Cookies in front of my local Wal-Mart when they are on sale. By the way, as a result of recent face-to-face with old-lady-solicitor, I created the following sign. Feel free to use if you’d like:

In an effort to stop solicitors from ringing my doorbell, I created this sign

3) Tweet Me Your Spam On Twitter – So you mention me in a tweet and include some bogus link to your spam site. Trust me, I’m smart enough to know that if I don’t know you and don’t engage with you on Twitter, I’m not going to click your link to marketing lala-land. Even if you get super sneaking and you get me to follow you, I’m not going to click the link in the auto direct message that you just sent. I’m just not that dumb….sorry.

4) Leave Me A Bunch Of Spam Comments On My Blog – Talk about a waste of talent! You’re fairly good with code, so you devote your time to building a bot that spams blogs? Errm…there are tools like Akismet and WP-Spam Free that pretty much block out every spam comment ever submitted. So, you just wasted a bunch of time building something that gets blocked by anyone who knows anything about blogging. Yes…you create a bunch of backlinks on blogs that are managed by people who don’t know how to manage blogs, will never get ranked in the search engines, and offer no authority, so no value to Google and other search engines. Congrats! You define failure.

Really? you think that spam comments like these are going to make it past spam filters?

Really? you think that spam comments like these are going to make it past spam filters?

5) Autodial My Mobile Number Or Text-Spam Me – Yes, there are still some archaic companies that think that auto-dialing numbers still works. Here’s a newsflash, slick…it didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. All it does it piss people off. And for those who have evolved to text-spamming…shame on you. You took auto-dialing to the next level of idiocy.

6) Stop Me In The Mall And Ask Me To Take A Survey – Because nothing tops a fun-filled day of searching for a parking space, fighting crowded stores, and dealing with rude salespeople like answering your survey. I didn’t really want to spend time with my family, anyway, I was just waiting for someone to ask me how I feel about a product I have never used and probably never will. No thank you.

7) Late Night Infomercials – I’m a night owl and I can’t understand why infomercials are so popular. Do people really buy this stuff? When I was at Target today, I saw a ShamWoW on the “Clearance” endcap. Obviously, it sold in Target stores just as well as it sold on TV. TV Execs…listen up! I’d rather watch reruns of Mork and Mindy than see another “Rubber in a can” commercial. Give us night owls some quality TV, otherwise we’ll exercise our rights to watch what is on our DVR and skip the commercials anyway.

8 ) Banner Ads – Yes…As a social media professional, I should be exalting the wonder of banner ads. However, the reality is their time has come. I’m blind to them, I don’t care about them, and I don’t click on them. Doesn’t matter if they’re on Facebook, Twitter, or blogs…I don’t care about them.

9) Spam My Email Inbox – Uh, I use GMail, which has one of the best spam filters on planet Earth. So why bother sending it? To all you poor saps that aren’t using GMail, my condolences. You do know that you can run all of you non-GMail email addresses through GMail and get the benefits of the spam filter, right? Plus, when you review your Spam, you get wonderful recipes made with Spam.

Gmail provides some great Spam recipes when you check your spam inbox

10) Spam Friend Me -Friend requests are supposed to be just that…requests from friends to see things in your social networks. If I don’t know you and we have never met, don’t try to be my friend on Facebook. If we work in the same industry and you want to connect, send me a connection request on LinkedIn. If you want to follow my tweets, feel free to follow me on Twitter. If you want to stay up-to-date on my professional Facebook posts, feel free to click the Like button my page. But don’t send me friend requests on Facebook unless we have met or built an online relationship via another channel like Twitter. And DON’T send me a friend request on FourSquare if you don’t know me. That’s just creepy.

11) You Tell Me – I’m curious as to what waste of time perturbs you the most. Is there something that 21st century marketers are just not getting? Is there something that they do that drives you insanely crazy? I’d love to here your additions in a comment!



Lisa Sharp

Thursday 15th of March 2012

"Lady of the house?" Seriously? Who says that? This is a great list, Sean. I would add the charities who want me to create letters about their cause and put them in my neighbors' mailboxes. Um, no. Not donating to you over the phone and definitely not alienating my neighbors for your cause.