Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Free is expensive.

Like most people, I think, I have a good half-dozen email accounts. This is, of course, ridiculous. In my co-op, we get one six-inch by six-inch mail slot and that is enough. But when it comes to email, we keep adding accounts, mostly to stay one step ahead of all the spam we get.

The email account I prefer is my busiest (not counting my work email.) But the ratio of good mail to crap is about 1:4. It's been taken over by promises that I've won the lottery and inducements for an all-natural blood-pressure medication doctors don't want us to know about.

This barrage of crap is in effect forcing me to move neighborhoods. It's forced me out of an email address directly attached to my website.

The reason behind all this crap is obvious to me. Email is essentially free. So any mofo can send you reams of mail indiscriminately. As opposed to paper mail, it doesn't matter if you get an open-rate of 1 per 100,000. 

We as an industry and we as a society have fallen prey to the false promise of free. If Google, which is free, is worth $400 billion, it's because it extracts $400 billion of information from you--without your even knowing it. 

Likewise, in advertising, clients are always looking to cut costs on what they pay for work. What they get in return is work with no real insight, no truth, no real value.

This seems obvious to me. But we all blindly buy into it.

Even me.

The platform I write Ad Aged on is also free.

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