I think we all pretty much know that Webmail and the holding company Interface IT are genuine spammers much the same as Ananzi and Braby’s. I got this email from a reader that got scammed by Webmail to send out 100 000 emails that would generate a 30% – 40% response rate. This “direct mail” package costs her R30 000. Read the email below and please let me know what you think!
I have a small company and was approached by Webmail’s Sales Director (Gregg van Notten) who sold me on a Direct Mail package. 100,000 of my target market (who have ‘signed’ up for such things – NOT!!) and I would have a 30-40% response rate. I stressed that I wouldn’t spam anybody and he assured me that there was no spamming. I was told to gear up for a massive response and ordered over R200k worth of product to gear up for this overwhelming campaign.
I couldn’t get the Sales Director to respond to my calls and finally go thoroughly hostile when one of the ‘Campaign Managers’ finally contacted me. I told them I wasn’t paying the remaining fee as their service was pathetic and their demographics amateur and irrelevant. They threatened to take me to court.
They then sent out the first 50,000 emails. Well 2203 opened the mails and I got a whopping 69 responses. This is when I went truly ballistic. I told them that if somebody “signs” up for emails they generally open them and that if 4.6% open them then it’s because they’re being spammed. I also targeted LSM 8+ and not be utterly ignorant, I’m fairly sure a lovely lady in a very (VERY!!!) rural town in the bundu of the Transkei cannot qualify. I then had a conversation with the Campaign Manager who was getting seriously aggravated with me and I told her to escalate my problem to somebody senior. She said she would and emailed this assurance to me. Well that was Tuesday last week.
I have now sent a truly snotty email informing them that I have contacted the Direct Marketing Association and will report them to the DTI. They’ll pick up this gem tomorrow.
This campaign has cost me a small fortune and the response has been pathetic beyond words. Their website states that they guarantee results and I’m going to hold them to this.
At Interface we aim to push the boundaries of conventional online and now mobile business and one of the first marketing companies in S.A. by offering our advertisers GUARANTEES. We have tailored some great cost effective packages that will bring guaranteed traffic to our advertisers websites. We are able to make these guarantees due to the relationship we have established with the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN as well as Webmail ” South Africa’s leading FREE email service”.
Secondly, they state in their privacy statement that they do not sell their clients details and that they will communicate with the advertiser. This is false. All the people who responded to my mail have had their details displayed for my spamming pleasure. Email and phone number. They have lied to their clients and this has to be a breach of contract.
We know that junk mail is invasive and annoying. We strive to protect you from Spam in the following ways:
- We will never sell your address
- We will constantly monitor and protect your inbox from unwanted mail.
- Should advertisers wish to communicate directly, we will do so on their behalf once we are certain that your interest profile matches the deal and that it offers true value.
To protect yourself, we suggest that you give out your address with care, particularly to other websites
This company is unethical and borders on fraudulent and I refuse to leave it. I want my money back and I want some sort of investigation.
Hello? We are able to make these guarantees due to the relationship we have established with the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN. This sentence right here is a huge red flag – total and utter rubbish.
Check out the stats from the first half of the campaign (50 000 emails) – I love how their “rate” percentage is based on the clicks sent from the amount of emails that were opened, instead of quoting the “rate” as a percentage of the total amount of emails sent. If they quoted it properly you would have an open rate of 5.1% and an actual click through rate of 0.8%. Pure spammy goodness.
In these times, with small businesses really struggling, they will fall for scams like this that “guarantee” results and I’m hoping that some of you that are reading this, stay far, far away from Webmail, Interface I.T. and all their associated companies.