About a week after my last post, The Value of Email Appending – and I’m not making this up – somebody somewhere seems to have bought my email address in some sort of an email append.  It’s like blog fodder from heaven….

Like most email recipients one of the first things that I look at in determining whether or not to open a message is who it’s from, followed by the subject line for an idea of what the message is about.   Being an email geek if a sender name / subject line combo looks like something stupid that I might be able to blog about I’ll sometimes take a look.  This time I was glad that I did and here we are…. 

The email append culprit this time is some guy named Steve G. Jones and he’s asking me for my confirmation.  Confirmation for what?  As it turns out, Steve is under the impression that I’m a fan of self improvement.  

I smoke, chug green tea, seldom wear shoes – and when I do rarely with socks – shave one or two times a week (maybe), and think that the answer to all life’s questions can be found in little chocolate doughnuts and assorted other cookies and snacky cakes.  While that may make me an excellent candidate for self improvement, I’m not interested.

It gets better; Steve is from some outfit called, “betterlivingwithhypnosis”, and he wants me to subscribe to – not confirm a prior subscription as was alluded to in the subject line – his newsletter, for which I will receive in appreciation a free gift in the form of his hypnotherapy recording, “Power Your Mind To Achieve Unlimited Confidence”.   Unless Steve knows something that I don’t (maybe he moonlights for “betterlivingwithesp”), I don’t think I lack confidence, but I digress…. 

So, an email from an unknown sender asking me to confirm something that I never initiated turns into, “But before we send you this, we need to be certain we have your permission.”  Two sentences later it’s asking me once again to confirm a subscription that I never made so that they can add me to their newsletter list. 

So what is it?  Did I subscribe and you want me to confirm that I did, or do you want me to subscribe to something under the guise of confirming the subscription I never made?  Or?????  It seems like an awful lot of verbal acrobatics to me…. 

Maybe this is what they call an “opt-in append”….  /sarcasm

Anyway, as you can see in the message (go ahead, click it; it won’t “append” you), the “confirmation” returns to the sender.  Not Steve, but NetAtlantic.com.  And guess what one of NetAtlantic’s “services” are?  That’s right, “email appending“.  They don’t sell or rent email addresses, no, here it’s called “appending” – a much “nicer” word….

So, when it comes to my email address in this instance – my personal and not public address – either NetAtlantic is attempting to “opt-in append” me for Steve or has rented my address that I never provided or gave permission to mail, to Steve, or they allow their users to upload and mail to purchased email lists.  It doesn’t matter which as none are very becoming.

For those with the fleeting thought that maybe I’d made an on or offline purchase from “betterlivingwithhypnosis” I can only ask, “seriously!?”  Not unless I was hypnotized and don’t remember….  That kind of blows the whole, “they just wanted to add your email address to your postal data”, doesn’t it?

As I said last week,

The value of email appending doesn’t come from adding email addresses to data that you have, it comes from adding data to email addresses that you have.

Unfortunately for Steve, he didn’t have any of my information – postal or electronic – so the only thing that NetAtlantic (who, remember, also never received my permission) can “append” is my email address and whatever else they harvested somewhere to Steve, who doesn’t have my email or any other address.

Email Appending – when it’s adding an email address where one wasn’t – is just a pretty name for buying and selling email lists….