Genii Weblog

Having a blast, sort of

Tue 7 Feb 2006, 03:41 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Well, not really.  Actually, we are sending out an e-mail blast to all the people who visited our booths (the combined Genii Software/Granite Software "Coexistence Central" booth), and it is a hard thing to get used to.  Clearly, this isn't SPAM, in the sense that these people all volunteered to have their badges scanned in full knowledge that we would follow up, and many, many of them wanted follow up information.  Still, I have always avoided anything that could even have a hint of SPAM, and it is inevitable that there will be people who only wanted a C.U.L.T. shirt who won't even remember who we are.

The flip side is that sending the letter out gives us an opportunity to reach people who were interested, but who were so inundated by the Lotusphere experience that they might not make it back on their own.  It also gives them an incredibly easy way to sign up for an evaluation of any of our products, without wading through an evaluation form and filling out contact information.  They also got a t-shirt, so if they have to go to all the trouble to replay and say "REMOVE ME", it still probably isn't that bad a deal.

It is just odd being on the other side.  I have received lots of e-mails from vendors I have visited at Lotuspheres past.  A few times it has been well worth the follow up, as I have bought the products.  Many times it has been less useful to either side.  I don't usually resent the intrusion when I do get such a mailing after Lotusphere, but I know some people do.

I feel "conflicted".  Ah well, I guess I'll go make tea.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

430.1. Wolfgang
(07.02.2006 13:50)

Hey Ben,

you shouldn't feel conflicted. It's normal business and in your case (personally) I would think that these people will remember you as one of the initiators of the cult shirts. So maybe you start your follow up with "Beyond CULT Shirt 2006".

I hope you got your tea meanwhile.


430.2. Wild Bill
(02/07/2006 03:29 PM)

I'd be fairly careful. We had an incident recently thats made us rethink our entire strategy to this stuff.

(not often you hear me say *that*, right ?)

---* Bill

430.3. Richard Schwartz
(02/07/2006 04:56 PM)

SPAM is the registered trademark of the Hormel Foods Corporation.

Spam is unsolicited commercial email.


430.4. Tim Tripcony
(02/07/2006 05:59 PM)

Any definition of spam that I've seen spelled out always includes the term "unsolicited", so the converse would seem to be "solicited"... as opposed to "consensual". Hence, some recipients may consider your mailing to be spam simply because they did not specifically request further information, despite consenting to provide an email address.

Personally, I think the response you receive will depend primarily on how the motivation of your notice is perceived. Some vendors are in business purely to make a profit; others chose the market that they're in because they have the enviable position of making their living making other people's lives easier. If the tone of your message makes it obvious (as your blog does, in my opinion) that you're in the latter camp, chances are the response will be positive.

430.5. Matt White
(02/08/2006 12:44 AM)

Along with most people I absolutely despise spam, however I think this is one of the few cases where a mail shot is absolutely justified. As you mentioned, you will only be contacting people who were scanned at your booth which I have always assumed will mean I will get at least an email if not a follow up phone call.

You also have the advantage of being well known in the Domino market place for your lack of heavy duty marketing.

I say go for it.