A while back I subscribed to the EPIC Alert newsletter of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a group dedicated to keeping online users from being gouged, folded, spindled, spied on or otherwise abused by online pirates, whether they be corporate, private or governmental.
EPIC, based in Washington, D.C., calls itself a public interest research center. It was established in 1994 “to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values,” according to the Web site.
In my opinion, they do good work. I’m accustomed to getting their newsletters, many of which are informative on Internet issues. So I was a little surprised – and just mildly annoyed — to get an emailing from EPIC, pitching book sales.
In fact, it contained this message: “Special EPIC Alert: Support EPIC — Buy a book! (or 3).”
The email went on (and I mean on, quoting chapter headings and offering summaries) to tout EPIC’s new “Privacy Law Sourcebook” as well as books entitled “Privacy & Human Rights 2002” and “Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws (FOIA) 2002.”
Then it pitched a “Package Deal: All 3 books for $100, including shipping!” The exclamation point was theirs, not mine. And lastly came a pitch for the EPIC bookstore.
At heart I’m all for EPIC and what they try to do to safeguard our privacy, but I sure hate to waste my time opening commercial pitches. And when you get something like this from an upstanding organization, you tend to read it for the content, until it begins to dawn on you that it’s completely a book sales pitch. As a regular reader I waded through all of this looking for the news part of the newsletter.
I found the inclusion of the entire table of contents of these books just a bit much. I know my annoyance won’t be shared by everyone (it’s often tough to criticize well-intentioned organizations), so I expect to get a flood of mail disagreeing. But I say it’s spinach.
I did ask EPIC about it.
“We advertise our publications in every single EPIC Alert that we send out,” said EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg. “Our publications are central to our educational purpose. This special Alert came about because all of our major publications for 2002 — Privacy and Human Rights, the Privacy Law Sourcebook, and the Open Government book — are finally available, and a lot of our subscribers have been waiting to be notified. I don’t see how this could be spam.”
I guess by a strict definition the book pitch email falls under the definition of “notices about EPIC activities.”
That’s all well and good, I guess, and I know that it’s not a perfect world and opinions are like noses, everybody has one. But it just rubbed me the wrong way, maybe because all the other commercial pitches I get waste so much of my time. I don’t appreciate it from the good guys.
Many companies use SMS, email and push notifications to deliver updates to customers and stakeholders, and such notifications are especially important to publishers ... read more
Online presence requires a lot of work. Your team has to be keeping an eye on search rankings, competitors, security, web mentions, website performance, trends, and so much more. Here are five multi-purpose tools that can manage every aspect of digital marketing and save your team time and money.
Email marketing is nothing new, but as our ability to harness big data improves, so does email’s potential as a marketing channel. In this article, we discuss data-driven personalization, what it means for email marketing, and how to deliver 1:1 communications at scale.
Email marketing automation may be the secret to a successful marketing strategy, provided that you know how to use it. Here’s how to get started.