But truth be told, you never really stopped….

Oh, sure, there was that brouhaha over White House spam last August, but what made that stand out from the business-as-usual spamming was the appearance of some possible address harvesting going on.  But I’m not here to rehash that today; nope.  I’m not going to go on and on about Sender Roulette or other bad email practices that this administration seems to have picked up from their friends at MoveOn.org, either. 

I’m not even going to rip on the ignorant political emailers on the other side of the aisle that blindly follow this administration’s arrogant emailing practices.  “Well, John, what makes you think that the current administration is arrogant when it comes to email messaging?”

I’m glad you asked….

No matter what happened before the August White House spam incident, one would think that afterward the White House and their operatives would have gotten a clue about email marketing – maybe even read a book or two about it.  Naw, books are for plebeians…. Who are we mere mortals to suggest that maybe the White House is clueless (or arrogant) about email messaging.  Why, anyone who would even suggest such a thing must be a racist!  But I digress…

So who the hell is Dr. Alice Chen? 

She’s not my doctor, and I haven’t subscribed to any sort of “Dr. Alice Chen Newsletter” or anything.  And she’s not a member of any groups or forums that I subscribe to because those messages usual come with the group or forum identified in….  wait for it…. yes, the subject line. 

So, Dr. Alice Chen looks kind of spammy to me….  And with a spammy subject line like “Doctor’s note”, Yahoo seemed to think it was spam, too, since it ended up in my Spam folder.  [A quick aside: After mentioning Dr. Alice Chen in my last blog post I saw a significant amount of search traffic on the keywords “dr alice chen spam” – go figure….]

It doesn’t matter what the email was about, really, at least not for this discussion.  What I don’t get is why, if someone wants your message enough to subscribe to it, one feels the need to hide behind a seemingly never-ending string of unknown names?  I mean, come on!  It doesn’t show the slightest amount of transparency, and it doesn’t feel “personal” when I don’t know who the hell the sender is. 

Is this really so hard to understand?  I realize that  most politicians think that they know what’s better for me than I do….  so, what?  They think that I need to be tricked into opening and reading something that I subscribed to?  I’m glad that they think so highly of their subscribers.

Number 20 of the “50 Signs You’re a Spammer” is “Your email recipients have no idea who you are or why they received your message”.  (I’ll save the dalliances with #15 for another time….)  Political emailers can play the CAN-SPAM-exempt card all they want, but it doesn’t change the perception of the recipient – or an ISP – as to what is or isn’t spam.  And isn’t playing that exemption card a little bit arrogant anyway?

While I’m tempted to go down a net neutrality tangent, or comment on how this administration, without fear of reprisal, boasts of how it controls the media, I’m just not  going down those roads – even though they add some credence to my point regarding arrogance.  But I want to focus on the arrogance in the administration’s emailing practices.  After all, they want to control the Internet, but can’t even get some basic email Best Practices down.

Before the August White House spam incident, only a few spoke out about this adminstration’s spammy email messaging tactics.  When those tactics crossed the line on what many believe may have been some address harvesting – even though political emailers are exempt from CAN-SPAM – there was considerable backlash.  

I wonder if the backlash would have been the same if the message would have been sent by the President or Vice-President rather than David AxelRose, or whatever his name is….  Ya see where I’m comin’ from, here?

Anyway, after making excuses, pointing fingers, and making promises of “change”, the only thing that’s changed is that the White House isn’t emailing to harvested addresses – or those of dubious origin – any more; everything else about their approach to email messaging is still pretty much the same.  Will their tactics ever “change”?  We can only “hope”….

But the take-away here isn’t whether or not the White House is arrogant in their self-imposed ignorance of email messaging.  The take-away is, if people subscribe to whatever it is you offer, there’s no reason to try to trick them or use spammy tactics when sending them email messages, so don’t. 

Just because the White House is too stupid to understand that, you don’t have to be….