With tight margins and lots of competition it is tempting to consider avenues in email marketing that might provide a quicker return on investment. The elephant in the room is to ignore the need to attract subscribers and enter the murky world of spam. After all others do it so it obviously must be worthwhile.
There is little doubt that generating an email list is the most difficult and expensive part of email marketing. Getting one that is big enough to return a decent profit even more so. Not bothering to bother about the niceties might seem much more sensible.
Whilst the logic looks sound there is no avoiding the fact that spam does not work and permission based email marketing does.
Almost as difficult to create as an email list is a good reputation for your company. When there is a choice for customers, a name they can trust is the obvious one to opt for. If they have been hit by your spam in the past then they might well go for a competitor. On the bright side, as spam is not targeted there is little chance of it getting into the inbox of a potential customer. So not so bright.
On top of that there is a chance, and an increasing one, that your company might well be mentioned in a much publicised case following the ASA referring you to trading standards. If the customer failed to read about it your competitors’ sales staff might point it out.
You still have to create the email. Spammers are unlikely to provide state of the art wizards to ease your way through the difficult bits. So you will end up working harder, effort you could have put into increasing the size of your email list.
This does not even take into account the very sophisticated spam filters that almost everyone makes use of. Although they are reactive, they react quickly.
Apart from reputation and effort, spamming costs money. Spammers need to make a living too. If you invest as much into the legitimate side of email marketing you will eventually get subscribers, and ones that will stick by you and buy your products.