This weekend, I received an e-mail from someone who had signed up for a free trial of my Tasks software. This person’s e-mail said:
Stop spamming me!
I asked for some clarification, but did not receive it (though I did receive another request to “stop spamming me”).
Now I certainly don’t like SPAM, and it isn’t something I feel I engage in. In fact, in the 2+ years I’ve been offering a free trial for Tasks Pro™ and Tasks, I can only think of maybe one or two other times when I’ve been accused of spamming someone.
However, as rare as it’s been, I learned in my journalism classes that you should treat all feedback that you receive as representative of a larger group with similar feelings that hasn’t taken the time to get in touch about it1.
I certainly don’t want to be labelled as a spammer (a 21st century leper), so I’m doing two things:
- Making it clear on the trial sign-up page exactly how many e-mails someone can expect to receive.2
- Asking for feedback here.
When someone signs up for a free trial, they can expect to receive the following e-mails about their trial account:
- An e-mail with the login information for their trial.
- An e-mail letting them know their trial has expired, with a thank you and links to additional information.
And the following e-mails as features of their trial:
- (Tasks Pro™ and Tasks) A “daily e-mail reminder” of their upcoming tasks which can be turned off by un-checking a box in their preferences. On the bottom of each of these e-mails are instructions to stop receiving them.
- (Tasks Pro™ only) E-mail notifications when tasks are assigned and completed by other users. On the bottom of each of these e-mails are instructions to stop receiving them.
Are any of these approaching the “spam” threshold? I don’t think so, but if I’m wrong about this I want to know so that I can start doing things differently.
- Every letter to the editor was considered representative of the opinions of 5000 people (adjusted for circulation #s), or something along those lines. [back]
- I added the following:
You will receive an e-mail with the login information for your free trial. During the trial, you can choose to receive daily e-mail reminders (this can be turned off at any time). You will also receive an e-mail notifying you when your trial has expired. Your e-mail address will not be added to any mailing lists and these will be the only e-mails you receive from the free trial.