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Living Dead List

by Matthew Dybwad

Just in time for Halloween, American Solutions has come back from the grave in the worst way possible.  Their reanimated email list has been set loose upon my inbox, aimlessly shuffling about with a message I don’t want from people I’ve never heard of, desperately searching for the relevancy it had in life.

Don't let your list end up like me!It appears American Solutions, or whatever is left of it, has sold their list to NewsMax, who blasted out the message shown below this morning.  I simply had to open the message when I saw who it was from out of morbid curiosity, but immediately I knew something was wrong:  the consistently branded and well laid out emails of yore were gone, and what remained wasn’t addressed to me, wasn’t signed by anyone I’d heard of, and looked a lot like spam.

And lo and behold, it was.  The link dumps you onto a NewsMax landing page where you’re subjected to an auto-play video that runs a whopping 42 minutes, hawking a financial report and “complimentary” subscriptions to NewsMax publications.

This is nothing new for NewsMax, who has happily been combining conservative red meat with offers for everything from Snuggies to vitamins for seniors for years.  This particular effort is aimed at promoting Aftershock, a book predicting more doom and gloom for the market:

“Robert has a consulting deal with Newsmax, which is giving away copies of Aftershock to entice its own readers to subscribe to its own investment newsletters.”

This is clearly not something Solutions would ever have stooped to sending out in their heyday, and while I can understand why they’d be moving now to try to monetize their list in order to settle debts upon closing up shop, going this route is just disappointing.  I can only hope that Solutions has already exhausted opportunities to work with reputable associations and conservative institutions around town to offer real value to their list.  I would have expected to see offers that would appeal to me, based on rich segmentation, from groups I’d heard of, introduced by Solutions itself, that I could opt into voluntarily — not abrupt scare tactics from complete strangers.

The lesson here is, if you want to keep your list alive, continue best practices in how it’s curated.  If you don’t, the specter of your zombie list careening toward all those valuable contacts will permanently ruin your organization’s once pristine image and damage further legitimate efforts at monetizing your list.

Dear Concerned American,

“The data is clear, 50% unemployment, a 90% stock market drop, and 100% annual inflation . . . starting in 2012.”

These were the prophetic words spoken to me recently by famed economist and New York Times best-selling author Robert Wiedemer, at a private dinner in Palm Beach, Fla.

“You see, the medicine will become the poison,” Wiedemer continued, as he pulled a worn manila envelope from his briefcase.

I was skeptical of his claims at first, but then I saw the chilling evidence.

Click here to see the same disturbing charts Wiedemer showed me.

Aaron DeHoog
Financial Publisher
Newsmax and Moneynews