In amongst the waves and waves of email I got this holiday weekend was a very interesting one from vacation.disneyworld.com:
What do you make of that? Looks to me like they are harvesting different mailing lists from within the company but are doing the heinous opt out rather than the more recommended opt in (note the “if you would prefer that we do not do so…”)
What surprises me about this situation is that Disney does such a brilliant job of marketing its products and services, including online, that it seems ridiculous they’re using an opt-out method of building a new mailing list. Worse, they got my address because I used their Web site to reserve a hotel a few months ago for a visit to Disneyworld: at the time I’m sure that I didn’t give them permission to send me mail about other offers or promotions.
It can only be ironic that the very next morning I received another Disney-related spam message too, this time from the Minnesota Council for Quality, entitled “Disney’s Keys to Excellence on June 16”. How on earth has the Minnesota Council for Quality gotten ahold of my email address? And why is Disney allowing them to spam business people to garner greater attendance at their upcoming training event?
It’s not always easy to understand the difference between email marketing and spam – and no, they’re not the same – but both of these seem to clearly cross the line, and by not opting out, Disney now ostensibly has permission to spam me about vacation offers. Spamhaus, Spamcop, are you listening?
Most importantly, it’s just disappointing. I’ve always looked to Disney as a leader in innovative, intelligent and legitimate marketing, whether online or off, but it appears that their myopic focus on the bottom line, on incrementally improving resort and vacation revenues, is causing them to veer off track and make some poor judgment calls. That’s too bad.