Victus Spiritus


Social Marketing Fail, Elf You OfficeMax and JibJab Media

12 Dec 2010

Yesterday my wife put together a silly elf video with faces of our family members which you can watch if you're morbidly curious, I rel="nofollow"ed the image above. She then shared the video by email with a few of us (oh no). As you can imagine in the video we're all quite skilled dancers yet require extra small sizes. So far so good, thanks for a goofy video with a built in ad for the host of the service. Here's the first email:

At this point I'm confident most savvy browsers will sense trouble coming. An email address has been passed to agencies for which emails are treated as currency (both OfficeMax and JibJab Media).

The spam begins

I received a followup email with an in-store $10 discount off of purchases $30 or more without ever asking.

At the bottom of the message I rapidly scanned for the unsubscribe link to get the hell off their spam list fast. These lists have a tendency to grow and spread to other sources unchecked. To my surprise I couldn't unsubscribe without first giving more information to a service to which I never subscribed:

This is where poor marketing decisions were made by both OfficeMax and JibJab Media. Not only did I NOT give them permission to email me a single offer, I never signed up for a recurring subscription of spam. I can imagine the devil's advocates out there thinking, "Oh but your wife sharing the video means you DID sign up". I have to reject this line of thinking. I never signaled OfficeMax or JibJab that I wished to subscribe and by not allowing me to unsubscribe without giving them more information they've identified themselves as shady spammers that will never get my business.

As an aside, I publicly share my email address on my blog and my html5 web resume and have never had any issues with unsolicited advertising. Happy holidays everyone, but please don't elf yourself or your friends and family by signing them up for spam.