The spammer’s main defence when caught or accused is “Hey, if you don’t want to see it just delete it!” And this seems all well and good, provided it was that simple. The fact is many of us have to see it because it appears without warning, or is a well-disguised email. Spam is essentially the digital version of a telemarketing scam, being cold-called when you’re at home with your feet up and a cup of tea. No one wants it, but it’s out there.
Most of us know how to recognise spam, and (thanks to the Penguin update – see previous blog) hopefully we will be seeing less of it. This is certainly the case if you use Google as your main source for finding websites. Still, the main problem associated with spam is that, as it is unsolicited and often “cloaked”, it can carry harmful viruses or scams to access personal data from your computer. And no one wants that. But it will continue because the sad fact is that spam can work, and those behind it are able to make a quick few quid with minimal cost.
And this is why some genuine businesses have resorted to spam techniques. On average, a spammer can send 10, 000 emails for roughly a penny. That’s some big carrot to wave in front of the horse. Reaching that many people for so little could tempt almost anyone, but it isn’t the smartest form of marketing. Being precise can prove a lot more effective. Yes you may reach a wide range of people using spam techniques, and up until Penguin arrived the amount of traffic it would drive through your site would boost your ranking, but 90% of that traffic has no interest in your business. What you really want is to drive the right demographic through your site, not just anyone. And the only way to do that is through legitimate online techniques. Mailing lists, SMM, up to date blogs, subscriptions, newsreels…
Your market is out there, you just need to put up the road signs to drive them your way.