Select Page

One morning this past week, I was wading through my email and came across a piece of SPAM that actually caught my eye. It was from an online sports retailer offering commemorative items from the Steelers’ 6th Super Bowl win. So, yeah – I clicked through to their site.

six-burghLookey what I found waiting for me! Oh yeah, baby – you know I had to have one of these! So I bought one…and a matching vanity license plate for the front of my car. (I may define self-care a little differently than most, but it works for me.)

Can’t wait til I get it and wear it in front of these poor, sad, wish-they-had-a-real-team-to-root-for Cowboy fans on my street.


Now, the marketing Suzanne is curious as to why this worked…why did this company’s SPAM result in a sale? Better yet – how did they know I’d be interested in Steelers stuff?

Maybe they didn’t, and they just got lucky. But, I suspect this was not your average run-of-the-mill email blast. Here’s why I think that.

As a website owner, I’m well aware of the amount of information we bring with us to each site we visit, whether we interact with the site at all, or not. For example, I know how many of you who come here use FireFox instead of Internet Explorer as your browser. I know the majority of you have a 17-inch monitor or bigger. I know where you’re located on the planet. (Now, don’t go freakin’ out on me here…your name is not associated with your IP address. All I can see is that I get visitors from as far away as India and South Africa and as close as here in Tulsa. I don’t know which of you is which, ok? Calm down…)

My point is: all that information (and more) is readily available to websites when we visit them, even if we don’t do anything while we’re there. It gets really interesting if we do anything while we’re there. And NO, I do not worry about using my credit card online…it is still safer than using it in a store. But I’m pretty sure that at least one of the Google searches I’ve done in the past for Steeler stuff has resulted in me getting on this company’s SPAM list.

While it was still a crap shoot (for them) to send me an email about Steeler stuff, this time, it paid off for them. And now I’m legitimately on their mailing list, so I’ll be getting more email from them down the road. Email from them is no longer SPAM to me. And that’s why SPAM exists…it’s cheap, it’s easy, and sometimes it works.