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Are you sure you didn't opt in?

Yes, really. I’m sure I didn’t opt-in.
I get a lot of spam. I get a lot of spam to addresses that aren’t used to sign up for mail. But it seems inevitable that when I bring up examples of receiving spam I inevitably get asked, “Are you sure you didn’t opt-in?”
On one level I can understand the question when I send in a complaint to an abuse desk and they’re dealing with a customer who swears all their mail is opt-in. It makes sense when an ESP is working to identify what may have happened so they can correct their customers’ behaviour.
But when it’s a client who has hired me to investigate their email delivery problems and I provide examples of spam sent to me? Why, WHY would I lie to you? Why would I claim I’m getting spam if I wasn’t? What use is that? How does me forgetting I subscribed actually help fix your delivery?
And even if I did forget, shouldn’t that be a sign that maybe there is some issue with your mail program that people sign up and forget?
I am not sure what causes clients to think I would tell them they’re spamming me when they’re really not. I certainly do tell clients when I opt-in and enjoy their mail while offering advice on how to improve their marketing program. I’m not sure what’s going through their heads when I say, “Oh, you (or your affiliate) is sending me a lot of spam,” that prompts them to ask, “Are you sure you didn’t opt-in?”

2 comments

  1. John Levine says

    Your clients are suffering from Marketer Syndrome, the inability to imagine that anyone isn’t thrilled to hear whatever vapid nonsense they might say.

  2. Paul Cunningham says

    I started receiving mail from Daily Deal Media, who I was 100% sure I had not opted in to. When I asked them how I got on their list, the response was “I have no clue how you got into our database”.
    Not very encouraging.

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