Thursday 16 June 2011

To Spam Or Not To Spam?


Yesterday I received this email from someone called Alison at Roosters Brewery.

Everyone can send an email by mistake, but this didn't seem to be a mistake.

It looked like inept PR. 

I welcome press releases from pubs and breweries but they really must be explicit – an email lacking in detail and written in faux familiarity will not do.
  • The email was sent bcc, i.e. the recipient list was withheld. It is possible that I was the only recipient, but it is likely it was sent to a number of people.
  • The text is impersonal, there is no "Dear ...".
  • I have never ever communicated directly with anyone at Roosters. This suggests my email address has been "harvested". It does appear on the Guild of Beer Writers Website but it is disguised to forestall harvesting by bots. That Roosters are in possession of it suggest suggests it was harvested deliberately.
  • The text presumes that I am in possession of "pumps". I am not.
I suppose Alison could have been communicating directly with a friend or regular customer and mistakenly included the whole of the address book in the bcc field. If this is the case then, Alison, I apologise for drawing attention to your clumsiness.

to undisclosed recipients
date15 June 2011 13:47
subjectRooster Beer availability

All good here, hope the pumps are flowing well at your end. The Stars and Stripes is one brew only and it tastes amazing !
Talking of good things, if in the area go to the Old Bell Harrogate and order the risotto, and a beer of course. I love food, it was excellent quite the best I've had in years. Sent this out as it was a special, it needs to be on the main food list, I'm starting a campaign.
Rant rant, back to beer, have a great week,
Thanks as always Alison.

UPDATE: This email from Tom Fozard arrived today -

Sorry to intrude upon your day.
No doubt most of you will have seen an email from Alison in your inbox yesterday. If you haven't already opened it, it was sent to you in error, so don't bother opening it - it's really not worth the effort. It was quite a dull email.
If you're thinking, 'Why are these people emailing me?! I wish they'd just leave me alone!', please email me back and I'll happily remove you from our database of Beer Writers.
If, however, you're happy for us to keep you email address so that, if and when we have something of note to let you know about, just do nothing.
Sit back, relax and keep up the good work!
Many thanks,


Reuben Gray - TaleOfAle said...

That is pretty inept marketing. Not even so much as a link?
Unless it was some sort of "comment" on a post of yours?

Tom - Rooster's said...

Hi Jeff.

I can confirm, as I was sat next to Alison at the time, that it was sent in error to yourself and a host of other beer writers. The email was intended for regular customers of the brewery, including one such contact list beginning with 'B' that sits beneath a contact list for 'Beer Writers'.

I'm bemused as to why you felt the need to share such a simple mistake (and such a non-event of an email) with the followers of your blog - suggesting that Alison is some kind of spam-bot along the way? Bizarre.

I guess I should point out that the email was also meant to have included an attachment, but Alison forgot to actually attach the file before hitting 'send'. Perhaps we do need to upgrade to the Spam-bot82 after all?! The one we have at present clearly isn't doing her spamming job properly.

As for how and where Rooster's "harvested" your email address from, I have no idea. Perhaps, as a beer writer / blogger, with your address available on the British Guild of Beer Writers website, someone (an actual person), at some point, thought you might like to be informed of beer and brewery news? Please accept my apologies.

Thanks to the other writers who replied, informing Alison of the error of her ways, or simply ignored the email.

I'm happy to confirm that Stars & Stripes IS on good form!

Rant rant, back to beer, have a great week.