Email Appending Erodes Privacy!

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

"Psssst! Hey buddy, check dis out over heeya. If ya give me yer database of customas' offline info, I'll give you email addresses to match! Waddaya say pal? $2 per name, awright?" That's how it might go down in a dark alley in privacy advocates' nightmare, butrepparttar reality is thatrepparttar 109619 email appending industry uses bright chirpy banter and photos of clean-cut staffers to tell yourepparttar 109620 story. The following link will take you torepparttar 109621 site of a vendor who explains email appending with Sunday-school innocence.

Email appending is big business. Here's how it works. A multinational corporation wants to send out an email campaign to it's database of offline customers, say those who purchased their computer printer and filled outrepparttar 109622 warranty card and mailed it in. The problem? They don't haverepparttar 109623 email addresses of those customers. Who ya gonna call? Here, let's visit my favorite search engine, Google, and type "email appending" intorepparttar 109624 search box. Click submit.

There are results 1 - 10 of about 42,300. Search took 0.05 seconds. So much for exhaustive research. Well I suppose that if you wanted to drag things out a bit you could do a few price comparisons. The industry is huge and profitable.

So you want email addresses? Zip us an Excel spreadsheet of your customers names, addresses and phone numbers and we'll send back email addresses to match those customers with. What we won't tell you is that we are missing a good deal of that information ourselves and you'll be paying us to incorporate YOUR information into our email database. If you pay us enough, we'll even tell you about those customers lives, their taste in cars, their travel habits and their income levels. And . . . that's not all, if you can provide us with information on their computer system and software purchases, we'll throw in a free recap of their credit history -- No Charge!

DoubleClick was publicly reamed for announcing they would do this by mergingrepparttar 109625 database of a direct marketing company they acquired with their own database of email addresses andrepparttar 109626 surfing habits of online users. They were sued, they lost millions, they were vilified inrepparttar 109627 press. Hmmmm. Why don't we care that 42,300 others are doingrepparttar 109628 same thing?

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has introduced guidelines onrepparttar 109629 practice. A marketing industry analyst comments inrepparttar 109630 email marketing publication, "Opt-in News" editorialized onrepparttar 109631 self-serving nature ofrepparttar 109632 DMA's dance aroundrepparttar 109633 term "Opt-In" when they say:

E-mail address appending isrepparttar 109634 process of adding an individual's e-mail address to that individual's record inside a marketer's existing database. This is accomplished by matchingrepparttar 109635 marketer's database against a third party, permission-based database to produce a corresponding e-mail address. I was amazed thatrepparttar 109636 organization (Direct Marketing Association) danced around privacy issues by creating a loophole extravaganza. The document was written by marketers for marketers, culminating in a classic case of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Are You Making This Embarrassing E-Mail Mistake?

Written by Nick Nichols

About a month ago I got a cold call from a guy selling Web servers. He apparently got my name fromrepparttar WhoIs directory of Internet domain names.

As an Internet marketing consultant with several Web sites, I'm always interested in knowing whatrepparttar 109618 current market pricing is for hosting, so I letrepparttar 109619 guy give me his pitch.

He asked me what kind of server configuration I needed, then told me he would send me a quote and some information about his company.

He made no attempt to qualify me at all -- other than knowing I had some Web sites. He eagerly offered to "send me something" without any idea of whether I was interested in changing hosts, what my budget was, or how soon I could make a decision, etc.

Then I receivedrepparttar 109620 following email message from him about a month after he had called me: (Name changed to protectrepparttar 109621 guilty.)

RE: company overview

Hi Nick,

I just wanted to touch base with you. I haven't spoken to you in awhile, and I just wanted to see if you had any questions.

Please let me know, my contact information is below.

Best Regards,

Albert De Salvo

Enterprise Solutions Manager

Since I get email like this just about every day, and since this particular time I had a charitable urge to make a point with this person, I composedrepparttar 109622 following reply:

Dear Albert,

Thanks so much for writing!

Yes, I do distinctly rememberrepparttar 109623 last time we spoke. I don't get many calls so yours is indelibly etched in my mind.

In fact, your call was so important, I made a note of our conversation and put it in my tickler file as follows:

"Albert from called. He had no idea about my needs but that's okay. He works for a big company so I guess that should be enough to impress me.

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