Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


January 28, 2005

Don't Be an E-mail Idiot

I've often described e-mail this way: It's so easy to use, and so easy to abuse.

Case in point. Here's a message I received a couple of weeks ago:

Subject line: Find Live Music Venues, Musicians, Bands

Body text: "Hey, I thought you might be interested in a web site that is dedicated to helping venues, bands, and musicians network with each other all across the country ..."

At the end of the e-mail was this gem:

"You are receiving this message because your e-mail address is listed on a musician related web site and we thought you might be interested. Please note this is not SPAM, we do not have a mailing list, we do not share or sell your address to anyone ... Thanks!"

Uh, excuse me, but if you randomly grab my e-mail address off of a "musician related web site" and add me to a bulk mail list that gets your lame message, this is SPAM. If I had only received one of these messages, it might not have been so bad. But I received 17 of the exact same message. You can deny it till you're fuchsia in the face, but if you do this, you're a spammer.

It's okay to hunt down someone's e-mail address on a web site and send them a personal message. Within reason, it's also accepted to compile a small list of media people or music acquaintances and send them a sensible, relevant "bulk" e-mail.

But, for God's sake, don't use software that harvests e-mail addresses from "musician related web sites" en masse, and don't rent e-mail lists from companies that do. This is not a shortcut to reaching the masses. It's a sure-fire route to being branded an Internet jackass.

Here's another e-mail I received last week:

Body text: "Dear sir I have an eclectic original cd of cw,country pop,pop,rr,rb quasi hip hop,rb, folk, blues instrumental, etc. I would like to submit a copy for airplay. If possible email me the name of person receiving and the address, if your intrested, and I will get it right out to you in the mail."

What can I say about this one? Typos, for starters. A description that tries to be all things to all people and ends up being nothing to no one. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Conclusion: Don't be an e-mail idiot!

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