Bad Advice in the B2B Space

"B to B Online" shares some really awful advice from Gary Halliwell and Mark Feldman of NetProspex about how opt-out is supposedly the way to go in the B2B (business to business) email marketing realm. They start out by banging the CAN-SPAM drum (make sure you're compliant!! yawn) and then get side tracked into targeting and content.

The one thing missing: permission.

The comments are especially interesting; mostly from folks referencing non-existing surveys about how recipients supposedly aren't that irked by spam, and so forth.

I know from working with various B2B spam filterers that they look at what mail they accept (or don't) based on the same old criteria you all already know. Complaints, permission, relevance.

Or am I wrong on that? You tell me, o dear readers; I know some of you are spam filterers and work in the B2B space. What do you think of mailing without permission? Is it mail you'd want to knowingly accept?

And I'd also like to know what B2B recipients actively want this mail. I know at work, we tune our spam filters to reject non-permissioned mail, aka spam. If we didn't ask for it, it's a drain on our time. We're busy folks; we don't want you in our inbox unless we invited you there. I'd be surprised to find a lot of people who feel otherwise.

Update: Mickey Chandler just blogged about this as well, over on Spamtacular.


  1. Having just seen Fiddler on the Roof, the only comment I have is "Permission ... PERMISSION!"

    Email send in bulk without permission is spam. A rose by any other name, as it were. Whomever sends without permission is still a spammer. End of story.

  2. B2B is - from the viewpoint of this very small user - becoming more of a problem than any other type of spam.

    I can tune SpamAssassin to reject Viagra; I can use Spamhaus to reject bots and such. But what do I do about a company that makes something that my employer should really, really want?

    Well, I'll report them to their ISP and block them. If it's being sent through an ESP, I'll holler to the ESP. If I get too many from that ESP - I really didn't need their email in the first place.

  3. I agree with you, its all about permission. My latest comment on the "B to B Online" site:

    @Gary Halliwell

    The question here is: do you have permission?

    Just because my email address is on a 'list' doesn't mean you have permission.

    Just because I don't click on the 'opt-out' button doesn't mean it's permission either.

    While it may or may not be legal to do this, it's irrelevant.

  4. Pity these ppl didn't include their IP ranges in the post... Mail admins could "opt out", en masse.



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