Please Stop Unsolicited Database Additions

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 03:46 PM with 2 comments

To paraphrase what I hear often on Marketing Over Coffee, you are only as good as your house list. Maybe more people should be listening to that podcast.

As the year draws to the end, it is catalog season – that time of the year when our collective mailboxes are jammed with catalogs from companies you have and never have heard of and will most likely never buy from. But that doesn’t stop them from sending me catalogs, sometimes multiple copies, both to my home and work addresses. In what has become almost a mindless ritual, I rip off the back cover and inside order form, shred them, and put the catalog in the recycle bin. I had thought of creating a YouTube video of me doing this, but it doesn’t take much imagination to know what I do on a daily basis.

Some catalogs have a message on the back saying you can unsubscribe to the catalog by calling them or visiting their Web site. As this is not usually worth my time, I haven’t bothered. My mindset changed the other day when Lands’ End, who is already sending catalogs to myself and my wife at both my home and work address, sent one to my daughter. Did I mention my daughter is a baby? Sure she got some very nice presents by friends and family from Lands’ End, but was that an invitation to add her to their catalog mailing list?

I have since sent emails to Lands’ End asking to remove her from their database, and pointing out her age and general inability to shop from them, let alone read the catalog. I got back a generic message, indicating that since catalogs are pre-printed, they may continue arriving. This means I will be getting them pretty much every other day through February of next year.

Lands’ End is being singled out as an evil-doer as they sent my infant daughter a catalog. I happen to like their merchandise and have several items from them. I am fully aware the nature of the catalog business, but in these times of a tight economy, identity theft and overall environmental consciousness, maybe do an address de-dupe on your database and just send us one. Not that we’ll buy anymore from them, but for sure you won’t have me calling them evil on my blog!

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