My digital agency, Direct Logic Solutions, recently purchased an e-mail list for a client. The outright purchase of 3rd party lists with unlimited usage rights is becomming the norm in many industries.
In the course of mailing this list, a consumer complained to our client that she was being spammed and she demanded that we tell her where we got her name and how it ended up on that particular list. People who think they are being spammed typically hit the spam button or just opt out. In this case the consumer was very angry and demanded a full explanation.
We have very good database analysts and our service bureau is also a firm with high integrity. Between us we were able to pinpoint the specifics about the record and her name was removed from our database and all of the databases of our service bureau.
We were able to tell her how her name was originally acquired and we could provide her with assurances that her name would never be used by us or our service bureau again.
Her response to our client was worth the effort:
“Thank you! I must say, I have tried to find out how my email address was obtained before, with other companies, and this is the first time that someone actually followed through.
I know that you must be busy, and I appreciate your personal consideration more than you know. …You do your company proud.”
What did we learn? I would argue that we learned the following:
1) Consumers are smart and they will stand up for what they want.
2) They want honesty. When they get it, they love you. It’s when they are lied to that all hell breaks loose. (Science fiction fans will remember the reveal abour why the HAL 9000 computer went homicidal in 2001: A Space Oddessy).
3) Clarity and Accountability for consumers should be the hallmark of every good marketing organization.