Spam selling contacts

From an email to my private address:

I hope you are the right person to talk about new companies interested in having business relationship with you.

If yes, then let me know the specific industry you are interested in, i will come back to you with a sample file of companies and their contacts with complete contact information such as business email, direct phone number etc of each executive.

These companies and contacts index can be used for your upcoming multi-marketing initiatives.

We also clean or append your inhouse marketing database. Just send me a minimum of 25-50 company names in an excel spreadsheet format, we will fill complete contact information such as e-mail address, phone, fax, mailing addresses etc. This way you can understand the quality of our service.
P.S.: If you want to stop receiving emails from us, please send a reply with the email subject line as “Leave Out”.

So many things wrong.

  1. Under the Spam Act 2003 (Australia) it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. (see also the general info at ACMA)
  2. Offering contact lists. If not illegal (through your local legislation, or because of the way this company has acquired the info), it’s ethically dubious and use of such info would at the very least make you an originator of unsolicited contacts. Do you want to be such a company?
  3. “clean up and append your inhouse marketing database” – that’s a new one to me, makes it look all the more nice doesn’t it. So you give them your incomplete info, and they fill it in with their data. Doesn’t make it any more ethical though, or legal. You’d have to be very careful about what the origin of their data is, and how can you check?
  4. The opt-out clause. Sounds lovely but that’s not relevant to AU legislation. I shouldn’t have to exert any effort as they weren’t entitled to send me email to begin with. But even if it was legal, is it reasonable? You don’t really want to be part of and identified with that huge pile of junk emails that people find in their daily inbox, do you…

That’s why we have Upstarta principle#10: No spam. Not if you call it “email blast” either. Newsletter for clients is fine.

Spam may be “effective” in terms of being highly profitable compared to direct cost – but good business people care about more than just that.