The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) published their annual report earlier this year. As well as dealing with data protection issues in the UK, it also gives the top 10 reasons for complaints made against marketing activities.
With 27% of complaints being about email, automated calls, live phone calls and SMS, and direct marketing businesses accounting for 14% of all complaints the question we have to ask is why are do so many people get it so wrong.
Part of the problem is that there is still an obsession with size. A dirty database in the thousands is still perceived to be better than a tightly targetted, recently verified one of modest proportions.
Next on the list of heinous crimes is thinking that it is OK to bombard the database with message after message. The logic of this is that although most people will delete or ignore you, a proportion of your list is bound to respond. Even with the weakest of messages this tactic will work for a while. The problem comes when the database has been misused so much that the supression list becomes as large as the remaining viable data.
But still it is addictive. Few are brave enough to resist the numbers game. Yet by sending out messages that mean nothing to the recipient the chances are that current and potential customers are being turned off before you even start to turn them on.