Confessions Of A Former Spammer


A couple of years ago I went to a very high level and super expensive 4-day marketing workshop. It was just 10 people who had to pony up a not so small fortune to learn some serious advertising and marketing strategies.

On the morning of the first day, we went around the room introducing ourselves. Each of us took a minute or so to say what we did. Some were freelance copywriters. Marketing agency owners. Entrepreneurs running 7-figure online businesses. And then one guy gets up and says… “I’m a spammer.”

After a few chuckles, he explained that he aggressively emails people with all kinds of offers, without rhyme or reason. I gotta handed to him, the dude was honest.

Now I have a special love for email marketing. It’s a great way to build a relationship, communicate and keep in touch with your audience. In fact, I’ll argue that it’s more effective than social media to a certain degree.

But there are 2 types of email marketers.

First, the type I just mentioned. Who strategically use email to have a conversation with their audience.

Yes, they sell in an email, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s done in an ethical way, that doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Which by the way is so rare these days.

And then there is everybody else.

Who desperately try to pitch anything and everything in their emails. Basically spamming their list with garbage. And then scratching their heads wondering “why aren’t people responding.”

They are like these annoying uninvited pests, who knock on your door trying to get you a quote for your window replacement, the roof or anything else they can grab unto. Happens all the time around my neighborhood.

Time For A Personal Confession

At one time, I was like one of these annoying “pests”.

Here’s the scoop.

Around 2008-2009 I did a lot of advertising on Google and rapidly built up a list of email subscribers. And instead of following common sense, and my already 10+ years of experience in dealing with people, I made a deadly mistake. Yes, I’m choosing my words carefully here. I’ll tell you why it was deadly in a minute.

The mistake was to follow and model after the so-called “gurus” of internet marketing. Who were (and many still are) blasting their email subscribers with every hypey product promotion under the sky.

The moment a new money-making product came out (most were pure garbage), it was hailed as the latest, greatest, easiest way under the sun to get rich and spend the rest of your life on the beach, sipping margaritas being served by gorgeous women in bikinis.

Ok, so maybe that’s a little over the top, but not too far fetched from some of these sales letters.

I know, shame on me for ever endorsing any product like that.

Truth be told, you can make some money this way. And I did, BUT… it was deadly mistake.

And the reason it was deadly, is because as you can imagine, any rational person would get tired of being spammed with this crap, and would eventually unsubscribe from your list.

And that’s exactly what happened to me. 15,000+ subscribers (who I paid good money to get on my list) were gone just like that.

Not only did I lose email subscribers, I lost all trust and credibility with them and the rest of the list I still had. And when you lose trust, you are DONE. Nobody will ever buy anything from a person they don’t like or trust.

And if you fool them once, they’ll be gone forever. I knew that. And yet against better judgement, which was clouded by the lure of “easy affiliate commissions”, I still did it. And it cost me big time.

Now I will say, that I came to my senses very soon thereafter. And I’m proud to say it’s been 5 years, 3 months, and 17 days (or something like that) since I’ve written one of these spammy emails. And I’ve had no relapses since ­čśë

You see, this type of behavior is exactly why the public hates marketers, advertisers and sales people in general. Too many bad experiences and sleazy marketing attempts.

But there is good news.

Turns out you can run a tight ship and be aboveboard with your marketing. Not be over the top. You can be ethical, authentic and market with integrity. You can sell what you truly believe in and something that will help your audience. And of course still make a lot of money.


1. Find out what your audience wants.

2. Provide them with lots of value.

3. Write in an engaging and interesting way.

4. Sell products (affiliate or your own) that provide solutions to your audience.

You can’t go wrong with this formula.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Vitaly Grinblat has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and advertising. Including running his own financial services agency for over 10 years. Since 2005, he has created a number of information products online, as well consulted with and designed advertising campaigns for private clients, generating over $10,000,000 in sales. Currently Vitaly is involved in a number of businesses and projects including creating marketing campaigns for a large publication company, running an e-commerce business, a nutraceutical company and Success Thread.


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