Can Small Companies Survive Without Spam?

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that both Google and governments are trying to get rid of spam permanently. If I were the king of the world, I would ban spam, but since I am not, I have to live with it and accept it.

The latest news coming from Canada was that they enacted severe anti spam laws. This could translate into millions of dollars in fines for small violations regardless of the fact that you are sending emails from Canada or any other part of the world. Nowadays, the big players spend ridiculous amounts of money on attorneys and compliance practices to ensure that they will not receive penalties. And while the big players prepare for years of lawsuits, small businesses are trembling since many of them cannot really afford to monitor these difficult requirements.

It’s a well-known fact that spam affects every person that uses internet on a daily basis. As for me, I usually filter the spam I receive choosing what should be sent to me, thus being able to significantly reduce it. However, this comes at an expense. Often times important messages didn’t land in my inbox given the heavy spam filters, so I had to constantly check the spam folder as well.

From a marketing perspective, I find the email marketing misused as it obliges businesses such as Google to predetermine how one sees emails even if that person has subscribed to one of my column. This law that has appeared as a result of email marketing abuse, determines me to find out where you live just to be able to protect myself from an accidental violation that could spell disaster.

It has got me thinking that maybe there is a better way to deal with spam. You could say that spam is pretty much like the commercials you see on TV. Maybe the people that receive spams and respond to it are as much to blame as the one who send those pesky emails.

Here are some aspects that could help you fight off spam:

1. First of all, you need to take control. After having an email account on probably every well-known email site out there, I consider that the Gmail spam filter is the best way to go. This is the main reason as to why I prefer reading all my email in Gmail. Moreover, it’s extremely easy to assign a certain message to the spam folder. This will ensure that the messages that person will send me in the future will automatically go there. On the other hand, I am able to assign something as never spam, which ensures that all the messages I want from a person will definitely be received in my Inbox. There are other features that made me fall in love with Gmail. Among these I need to mention the awesome filter utility that allows me to automatically forward certain emails pertaining to a specific topic to my employees. Also, Gmail categorizes promotional emails that are not exactly spam into a category of their own.

2. Given the new spam laws, small companies can benefit from this. Small business are more dynamic and can implement changes faster so they can benefit from the enactment of spam laws. For example, large businesses perceive these laws from a conservative standpoint. This could lead to a complete loss of the ability of a big company to communicate with customers. On the other hand, small companies are able to implement new technologies faster and easier. When customers attempt to opt-out, small business can actually learn from what customers would receive and construct a message or context that determines them to stay loyal.

3. Accept it and learn to live with it. It’s no secret that advertising is one of the main keys that ensures the prosperity of your company, but when it arrives in my inbox as a spam, I find it difficult not to throw my computer against the wall. I use Gmail not only as a business address but also as a personal account. I have to hand it to Google, they are pretty smart because they catch almost every spam before I actually get to see it. The best part is that I am left only with the legitimate messages that I want and need to read. Spam is thus transferred into its folder, which I usually check once a week just to see if an important message didn’t get through by any chance. Moreover, if some spam actually manages to get past the Gmail filters and into my inbox, I usually flag it. This ensures that I won’t be seeing emails from that person ever again.

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