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May 13, 2008

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Alec Saiko

I would like to partially disagree with Mr. Marriott's claims.

Firstly, the existence of an anti-spam legislation doesn't mean it undermines the legitimate use of email, as well as it being an acquisition tool (think viral campaigns on the web). Direct mail world has things like MPS, which are far more regulated.

Secondly, if you get (buy) a postal address of a customer and start sending mailpieces, that might be treated as dodgy as sending unsolicited emails. It is also a lot easier for a prospective customer to give out an email address rather than postal address if you ask for one on the website.

Thirdly, you can opt out of direct mail by the means of MPS - and that would legally opt you out of ALL direct mail, not just from the mail sent by a particular company.

All in all, while targeted display advertising is a powerful tool for prospective customer acquisition in a search engine-dominated world of traffic, the importance of viral campaigns and social media is on the increase, and in conjunction with a simple email acquisition form it can bring even better results - consider one post on Digg that drives traffic to an email collection form on the website.

The email nowadays has evolved considerably (both on technical and legal standpoints) to be taken on par with direct mail and can bring at least the same, if not bigger, ROI.

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