Web project / programme manager at na
19 August 2009 13:44pm
Has anyone heard of this company http://www.prospectvision.net - or similar ones. They just emailed me (without my prior consent by the way) twice within 10 minutes. Frirst to introduce themselves, then to thank me for looking at their website! Is that ethical, or is that going too far? Good news or bad news?
Looking at various other forums http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/advertising-promotion/internet-marketing/MAR_ADP_INM/475285-9505648 I conclude that tracking in principle is fine, however "stalking"/"chasing"/"misusuing information" without explicite permission is not?
Thanks for your comments. Best regards B
Search manager at THESITEBOX.COM
19 August 2009 14:13pm
With the tracking that is possible today, so much information is available on the success of marketing campaigns, and despite your question it is comforting to see it being used.
I think as an attempt to make contact with potential clients and begin a conversation email is a great way to do this, I would probably be impressed enough by the follow up to start that conversation if I were not working in digital myself and understood how they were doing this.
If we assume that they have gone about getting their mailing list for this campaign correctly, they may be affiliated to another company which you once didn't tick the 'don't spam me from third parties' option and so are legitimately contacting you. Their second email shouldn't have come through if you had unsubscribed from their mailing service - was that option available?
I am not sure that this is a question of morals or ethics, just a marketer using their data to take the campaign further, which is something I am very much for.
19 August 2009 14:37pm
Thanks very much Sarah! Hm, I am not convinced somehow. I understand the opt in and unsubscribe laws to emails (and that they differ per country), however as for identifying me through my visit to a website (and then contacting me to say "I know you were here") I feel that's quite intrusive? Maybe I wasn't very clear in my first email. What are your thoughts?
19 August 2009 16:53pm
It is perhaps a little strange to think that a visit is recorded to a site by your email address, but this then opens up the debate for behavioural targeting and behavioural marketing, which is a great way to drill down to a core buying audience and improve conversion rates in digital marketing.
Depending upon the platform, an email marketer can easily a report to discover whom had clicked through to the site from the email and sent out another email thanking you for coming to the site, so both yourself and a number of other people could have received a follow up for this.
Marketing data is available and being used to segment further messages. It was very fast to send again 10 minutes afterwards, and they may have sent the wrong sort of message to you, but I am still impressed that marketing data is being used and personally have no issue with this use of behavioural marketing.
19 August 2009 17:35pm
Ah, I think where I got wrong is that they didn't identify me through my visit to their site, but rather through my clickthrough, which makes perfect sense is no doubt common practice.
On the other hand I am not so sure though as they claim to "turn anonymous visitors to your website into real, qualified leads". If they are anonymous visitors they can't come through an email campaign can they?
What I forgot to mention as well is that it' s not just their practice I questioned, but actually their product. I probably need to study it a bit more as at the moment I dont' quite understand it and find it slightly debatable ;)
Thanks for your comments Sarah!
20 August 2009 11:24am
No problem :) tbh I didn't check out their service. It sounds a little suspicious from your description and I think I will definitely take a look and see what happens!
European Web Analytics Specialist at Canon Europe
20 August 2009 11:38am
I feel that if we visit a company's website it is a little like walking into their shop/office - it would be normal for someone to speak to you, no?
The internet is not 'public', these sites are owned by people and businesses so I feel we should expect to receive feedback from site owners.
20 August 2009 14:29pm
Hi Rob, I am sure that's a possible/valid point of view, I am again not sure if I share it though and in fact I wonder if that is a common view of the internet. Taking the walking into a shop scenario yes, that’s my choice and I expect to be approached by a sales person while I am there, and even after I’ve left the shop – however in the latter case only if I consented to it by giving out my contact details beforehand. Otherwise I definitely want to stay anonymous and be left alone!
Looking at this http://www.prospectvision.net/demo/walkthrough/ it seems as if the software can process website visitor information to an extend where real people are identified?? As they say “turn anonymous visitors into qualified web leads”??
Obviously I’ve got lots to hide ;) No, seriously I am not taking this one lightly and looking at various discussions think there’s no clear consensus on this one yet?
24 August 2009 12:55pm
I understand your feelings on this matter, however, doesn't this just underline how broad the 'third party/partner' group is in most sign-up/registrations? Sarah mentioned this and I am sure that this is the source of the personal contact info.
All/most analytics and b2b lead gen companies pick up IP data and can translate it into country, city and often company data. But by cross referencing this data with a richer set, ie. from the readership of an industry related publication, you can enrich the data further.
As a result you can opt-in to Org A whilst giving permission to Org B (3rd party) and ending up getting contacted directly by Org C.
On another note - you are not obligated to visit the website of a company...you have no 'right' to visit it for 'free'. However, as in the car showroom, you may wish to go elsewhere should the salesman be too pushy :)
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