I apologise for this automatic reply to your email

Spam is a scourge and needs must be contained, but an auto-reply and being forced to complete a form requesting to be added to a list of approved senders just to reply to someone who has already sent you an email? A disturbing near on clueless trend that must not be encouraged.

A new client recently got in touch, asking for a quote for a website design and build, and when I sent through my quote I got the following auto-reply:

I apologise for this automatic reply to your email. To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand. If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience. Click the link below to fill out the request.

Email SpamReally, it’s a bit over the top, in fact so far over the top as to be on the other side of common sense and receding quickly—being forced to complete an online form and request approval to send an email, to a person who has already sent an email to you themselves—and nearly enough to make one give up there and then. I expect I would not have been the first to do so.

In general, we do things online because it makes our lives easier rather than harder—make life harder or more complicated for people than it needs to be and you’ll find them getting offline, and potentially away from you and your business, fast.

If such inauspicious beginnings can be seen as a sign, it was a sign I definitely should not have followed, for the job—quote accepted and work undertaken and completed—ended up much as it started, unwanted emails in my inbox from a client who in truth really didn’t have a clue.

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