The Opposite of Spam

I got the most astonishing email the other day. I can only describe it as the opposite of spam, in two different ways. I’ll get to just what the ways were in a minute. First, the back-story.

It seems it must be a year since I bought John Resig’s Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja. (I highly recommend it, by the way.) Manning Publications gave me a PDF, shipped me a book, and since then, they’ve periodically sent me other emails for things like half-off sales.

But then they sent me one titled “We hate to see you go”, that said: “According to our records, it’s been over a year since your last purchase from manning.com. We want to confirm your interest in hearing about news and special offers from Manning.”

So, the first way this email was unlike spam: It was based on a pre-existing business relationship. Even among the most ardent spam-haters, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone claim this isn’t a valid communiqué.

But the second way it was unlike spam is that, despite that pre-existing business relationship, it didn’t assume I’d be interested in receiving their emails and simply offer me a teensy unsubscribe link in case that were wrong. No, instead, this email explicitly said: “To continue receiving email from us, please click the link below or reply to this message…. If you do not confirm your interest, you will no longer receive any promotional emails from us.” (emphasis in original)

Wow! The default action is “we’ll stop sending you marketing crap, even though you’ve already bought something from us before.”

Needless to say, I’ve already clicked on their “keep me subscribed” link. This is the kind of company I do want to keep hearing from.

Marketers, take note: This is how to do it right.

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