I’m assuming that if you’re in business it is at least in part to make money. Maybe I’m unusual, but I don’t think so unless it might be the depth of my aversion to the things I’m about to mention. There are certain things you can do that virtually insure that I will never do business with you. Some things should be obvious; others may not be. Here they are in no particular order.
Send me paper mail. Granted, spam came to mean what it does today by way of the Internet, but the concept holds. I don’t want it. It carries an indirect cost to me. I would be curious to know how much landfill space is occupied by junk mail. I know that we haul out several heavy bags a year full of nothing but junk mail to be recycled, and we don’t sign up for any of it. You put a burden on us to deal with it and increase the cost of garbage collection. I won’t give you any of my money if I can help it. I haven’t done this since I got married because Linda usually sorts the mail, but I used to keep a spreadsheet of companies who sent me mail so that I would not inadvertently do business with them. I have recently read that the post office in an effort to stay afloat has sweetened the deal for direct mail marketers. I wish there was a way to opt out of the post office entirely.
Hang something on my door. I am uniquely able to completely ignore you’re advertising in this way since I don’t see well. I won’t even catch the big letters with a glance. It goes straight to the trash without ever being seen. You’re wasting both your money and mine for the reasons mentioned in the junk mail rant. I would like to put a paper shredder in the door with a glass front and a message, “insert flyers here.”
Send me email. This one’s obvious, being the official definition of spam, but all related forms also qualify. Examples include posting on forums, commenting on my blog, etc. Especially annoying are those of you who use the public comment form on my web sites. We both know that is not what the form is for. There is no way I will do business with you.
Finally, my latest pet peeve, follow me on Twitter. I’m not the least bit interested in giving you free advertising space because you show up on my profile and I absolutely will not follow you back. In fact, I’m as likely as not to report you for spam. I’ve let a few sneak by because they are not selling something and I like what they’re about, but I think this is a pretty lame way of getting your name out. I have not followed any of you in return nor am I likely to. Friends are welcome as are people actually interested by some miracle in what I have to say. Why tweet at all if you don’t want followers? There is a difference between followers and freeloaders. I won’t go into the more obvious forms of Twitter spam. Those are easily identified.
I’m done ranting now. I will engage in a bit of hopefully polite self-promotion now and ask that if you agree with me pass this around. I suspect a lot of these people have read some misguided book or article that tells them they should do this kind of thing. I also realize that there are always a certain number of people who will respond and since the cost of shoveling it out is minimal it probably isn’t going anywhere, but I can dream.
And by the way, don’t call me. I’ll call you. 🙂