I deal with a lot of spam everyday. I have a finely tuned "spam sense" that works somewhat like Spider-Man's spidey sense, only much less useful in heroic situations. ("Duck! Here comes another c1al1s advert...") A corporate website of any form is an attempt to have a conversation with me. If you trigger that spam sense, you seriously damage my opinion of the conversation. Here's two big pointers that should have been learned 5 years ago, but may need to be refreshed from time to time:

  • Always, always, always make any email distribution lists opt-in. In an application process, auto-checking an opt-in "on my behalf" is the exact same as an opt-out,, it is no longer an opt-in because if I ignore it or miss it I suddenly get unsolicited mail. Repeat after me: a preselected opt-in is no longer an opt-in, no matter how friendly the language next to the checkbox, it is an opt-out. My time is valuable to me... I will either spend the time to read and ponder your distribution or I will uncheck the box. I will not do both if you trigger that spam sense when skimming.
  • Once I make a selection or choice: don't question the selection or choice and certainly don't try to do one last upsell to some "better" choice. The more upsells, the more it feels like you are trying to spam me to death.

Again, both of those points should be obvious, and are very easy to keep in mind. If your company violates them, your marketers and/or web staff (and I know which one I typically bet on being in charge of these decisions) have some 'splainin' to do as to why they hate your customers.