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Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

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meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

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small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

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the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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« Getting from here to there... | Main | Turning good deeds viral (and winning free money) »

A giant step (backward)

Today's Wall Street Journal features an article by Stacy Forster about marketers trying to "polish spam's rusty image."

I'm just astonished by the naivete of the article, and scared that it will send the wrong message to honest marketers.

She writes, "legitimate businesses that look to e-mail as an effective marketing tool..." without realizing that NO legitimate business uses spam as a tool for long. It doesn't matter if you're selling diamond mines, weight loss tools, penis surgery or refrigerator dehumidifiers--spam is going to take your brand down.

How? By creating brand rage (not brand equity) in the 99.9% of the people who don't respond. For every order you manage to coerce out of someone, you're burning your brand with 100 others.

The article is filled with bad analysis and shady anecdotes from everyone except Jason Catlett of Junkbusters who understands that spam is like shoplifting.

Like shoplifting? Yep. If you steal a $20 item from Macy's, it's not going to bankrupt them. But if 1,000 or 10,000 people did that every day, it would bring the store to its knees. One or two or even ten pieces of spam a day don't ruin someone's email account.. but 1,000 will. If spam's image gets polished, and it is virtually free, why shouldn't we expect that will happen? We need to do everything we can to keep spam's image not just rusty, but toxic.

Consumers see spam as a sign of disrespect and dishonesty. It's not about privacy--it's about taking something from me (my attention, my time) without costing your company a cent.

If you are a marketer, just stop. If you're a consumer and you get spam from a "legitimate" company, call them up and let them know how angry you are.

I've said it before and I'm saying it again--if you have to start weaseling your way through the fine print of the privacy policy, or justifying your spam in any way, you're jeopardizing your brand and your business. You can do better.

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