How NOT to use a mailing list #103453535

When this brute landed in my inbox earlier, I was lost for words:


Now the static image is garish enough but imagine the red and yellow dots flashing and images within those changing in rotation also. Not pretty. And certainly the most spammy spam to slip into my inbox in a long time.

What I can’t work out is what the email has to do with Learning Ireland, which is a website concerned with night courses and further education, not an online stationary shop.

I’ve emailed them to see what the heck is going on and who sent this out on their behalf.

One thought on “How NOT to use a mailing list #103453535”

  1. Vistaprint (the offenders here, I think it’s fair game to name them) have sent similar ‘Promotions’ to me a couple of times via the mailing list.

    Look familiar?

    The St Patricks one is especially horrid:

    I’d imagine it’s a case of Learning Ireland and being paid by 3rd party companies to allow access to their email lists. Usually the ones come with a ‘Special Promotion’ header so you can tell it’s not them. It looks like spam; it feels like spam – but if you’ve ticked the “allow me to recieve offers and promotions from our partners which we think wil interest you” box upon sign-up for Learning Ireland then this is all fair game in their eyes. But it doesn’t change the facts:

    (1) It’s appalling. I guess VistaPrint paid to have this email sent out, which is bizarre as it’s one of the ugliest, most visually offensive things you’ll see in terms of web design this side of 1992. Animated gifs? Check. 16-bit style colour palette? Check. Vomit? Check.

    (2) They’re doing themselves a disservice. Whatever about the design (it’s easy for you and me to be critical of that as professionals in this industry, it mightn’t bother the average punter as much), the channel of marketing their using here is also awful. While they’ve most likely got your consent from Learning Ireland to contact you as their partner, you still feel a bit miffed getting something like this out of the blue. It’s definetly not relevant content to that site, it feels like spam in an underhanded; abuse-of-power sort of way

    (3) Shame on Learning Ireland too. This sort of thing happens with their approval, utilising their mailing list. I know times are tough and it’s hard to turn down ‘easy money’ from partners like this… but I wonder how many unsubscribes something like this generates? Is it worth losing the trust of your mailing list? They sign up for relevant information, and yes the occassional commercial leaning email is to be expected, but this is just so random and ugly that it’s pretty difficult to justify any connection to subscribers…

    I’m suprised that marketers are still using these tactics, and so crudely. Seems like an awful waste of money, time and most importantly trust…

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