Part of the DaveNet Mail website. San Francisco CA USA. 1/8/97.

Let's Have Fun -- Now! RE: LOTS OF COMPLAINTS

Sent:1/8/97; 10:38:36 AM
From: (Kenneth I. Laws)

Hi, Dave!

Your message to me is amazingly even-tempered. I am impressed by your ability to keep your cool.

Providing a service for friends, even paying "friends," is the rewarding part of business. Finding additional customers via advertising is the uncomfortable part, but a necessary part of staying in business. I don't do it often, and sometimes I don't do it as well as I would like. My effort yesterday was one of those times. An experiment that didn't work out quite as I had expected.

I sent a free trial offer to some of your readers more than a year ago. In that mailing, I did not mention DaveNet, but did address people by their names. One person asked to be removed from my list; many more than that took me up on the free trial offer. That response gave me the impression that I could be of service to your community, if I could make them aware of what I could do for them. So I tried again this year.

There had been quite a number of people asking me where I got their names and email addresses. When I explained that we had shared a DaveNet group of ten, all seemed satisfied and none complained to me or to you (so far as I know). This year, I tried to be more up-front about where I got the addresses. I addressed people as "Fellow DaveNetter," which was true, and did not use their names (which had seemed to make people nervous, or implied a previous correspondence). I kept the message short, respectful, and included something of potential value for this audience.

I really had not anticipated the anger this would arouse in some recipients. (Maybe they're sensitized this year, by all the spam.) Eleven people so far have asked to be removed from my mailing list, which brings my total to 58 so far for six years of doing business. Clearly I was being more offensive than is my norm, or my intention. And, worse, three of your readers questioned my use of your name (that I know of) and one of them became quite angry. (I've explained/ apologized to him at length, and he has asked now to be kept on my list. He hopes to offer his business services to me.)

I consider the marketing campaign to be a failure. I offended at least a few of your readers, apparently tarnished my own good name, and did not connect with enough new prospects to justify such expense. For pragmatic reasons, I have no plans to send any further samples or offers to your readers.

I also owe you an apology, for your time and emotional effort in dealing with the complaints that you received. It had not been my intention to put that burden on you. Apparently I was naive.

Feel free to renounce me in a DaveNet post, of course. Or, if you would rather, I am willing to send an apology to the people I contacted directly. I still cling to the view that I was acting within the spirit of community that you encourage by your group-of-ten mailings, but I don't wish to leave the impression that you have endorsed my service or my marketing campaign. If you want me to send a disclaimer, I will do so.

I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused you.

-- Ken Laws Computists International

Let's Have Fun -- Now!

This page was last built on Wed, Jan 8, 1997 at 11:08:25 AM. The messages in this site are responses to DaveNet essays.