by Frank Reed
The Internet is a funny place. I mean funny in a quirky kind of way, because we are forced to think in ways that we simply don’t need to consider in the offline world. As a result, we can either be incredibly informed or actually miss out on valuable data. The overload of information and the less-than-perfect automation we apply to help us manage it all only makes this more difficult.
A case in point is the ever popular spam filter. It’s an important piece of our daily existence,as we try to cut through the junk thrown at us to either rip us off or spread a virus. The trouble is, just like a tuna net catches a few dolphins, the spam filter catches some really important information which might mean that you never see it at all.
I have figured out how to use this particular issue to my advantage and to the advantage of those vying for my attention. It requires some work, but I have found value in the effort. What I do is to look at all of my spam folder e-mails (it’s really a more focused scan than a real read because it can be time consuming). Inevitably, I catch something that is of value to me. I immediately tell Google it’s not spam and it then goes to my Inbox.
While this sounds mundane, it really is the ultimate compliment to those e-mailers that I am truly interested in. You see, if my spam filter has decided for me that something is spam, then it is immediately suspect in my mind. Now, I am at an information crossroads of sorts, as I have to decide whether something that I once deemed valuable enough to be e-mailed to me is still worth keeping.
As a content provider, this is where the rubber meets the road. At this point in the process, I am now taking a quick inventory of whether that data has been important to me in the past and whether I feel that it will be important enough in the future to continue receiving it. This is the online version of the dead letter office, but with a chance to make a save if it truly shouldn’t be categorized with all of the lowly e-mails for Viagra, Cialis and myriad other incredibly annoying things that call the spam folder home. This is a chance for e-mail redemption, if you will.
Now I have a new measure of whether someone or some company is truly important to me: I put a check next to their e-mail then push the “Not spam” button. This moves them to my inbox, where the rest of my wanted e-mail lands and resides. I suspect there is “prodigal son” kind of celebration amongst the other e-mails as they celebrate the return of this e-mail to the place where it belongs.
So my question to you is, “Are you creating content and providing data that will get you marked ‘Not spam’?” Are you creating value when you communicate with people? Are you taking up valuable time and space or are you adding value to the time spent with you?
We are all in the content creation and generation business. That can make for a l “stand out” material that makes it hard to leave in the spam folder if it ever got there.
How do you accomplish this? What techniques work for you, for your customers, and for your business? Can your content escape the spam filter of the world?