The Spam Article They Didn’t Want You to See

Responsible spam? Frank Catalano thinks it’s possible, but not so his editors, who asked that a chapter on the subject be removed from the manuscript for “Marketing Online for Dummies” published by IDG Books Worldwide.

However, ClickZ picked it up, presenting a piece that presents a more “humane” way to spam, if you will, for those who simply MUST use what is possibly the least effective Internet marketing tactic.

Unsolicited commercial email is nothing more than an electronic marketing message, Catalano writes. “We’ve come to terms with marketing messages in every other medium–including the World Wide Web–even if it means tuning them out. Could it be that what really gets the emotional, anti-spam hackles up is genuinely fraudulent spam?”

He goes on to propose a kinder, gentler way to spam, urging email marketers to “Call a spam a spam. Senders must make it clear that the message is commercial in nature, starting the subject line with “UCE:” (for Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) or “Ad:” (for Advertisement), followed by the true subject.

Other recommendations: Keep it really short; don’t forge the return address; don’t advertise anything offensive or illegal; don’t steal the services of others; and honor all remove requests. Full text of the article is available here.

Catalano is a Seattle-based analyst and strategist for computer industry companies, as principal of Catalano Consulting. He can be reached at

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