"Lately," says Ken Magill in a post at DIRECT, "I regularly get messages from frustrated email managers whose bosses are trying to prod them into doing something self-destructive." It seems they're dealing with upper management who believe that doubling frequency will double profits, and that anything is fine as long as it complies with CAN-SPAM.

Equating these attitudes with marketing suicide, Magill decided to write an open letter to these bosses. It begins by saying their seemingly obstinate employees are only trying to prevent terrible consequences: "Every time they say you shouldn't do something to your email program, they're trying to protect it from being irreparably damaged."

Magill goes on to explain how one misstep can lead to a serious problem for email programs, and he reminds bosses that email managers might just know what they're talking about, since "they've been elbow-deep in research, reading newsletters, participating in discussion groups and attending panel discussions trying to get a handle on this quirky medium." In other words, they probably have a good reason when they tell you something won't work.

There's plenty of snark in the note, and it's obvious Magill doesn't expect anyone to actually hand it to the boss. He hopes, though, that those who need to hear the message somehow will.

The Po!nt: Tell 'em straight. The fact remains that targeted, well-scheduled mailings beat overdone, overused blasts hands-down.

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