Any kind of direct response advertising means a direct message to consumers. People receive the mail ads to their mailboxes and they cannot reject or get rid off such advertisements. Another kind of direct response advertising is phone advertising. In this case, consumers can hardly stop being called and they have to install special filters in order not to receive unsolicited calls. In the same manner, the Internet advertising invades the people's privacy by sending them ad letters, subscriptions while Internet users cannot avoid this kind of messages or spam.
Therefore, the direct response advertising has both positive and negative sides. The positive one is a possibility to make a purchase, get more information on products or to receive an advantageous offer right at their computer table; the negative one is almost inevitable invasion to the private life.
There are many arguments about this matter. Obviously, if the first unsolicited contact with the consumer is banned, the direct advertising is impossible. However, the consumers have their right for privacy and safety of their personal information, while it is necessary to gather personal details of a consumer making the first Internet contact with him; many consumers would like to avoid it.
In this case, there is a compromise. Many reliable online companies formed an association, members of which are to keep strict standards while using direct response advertising and gathering personal details of customers. The association's agreement also includes a trust program. All participants of the program have "trust mart" logo on their sites. It guaranties some benefits to their customers. They may learn:
· What kind of information is at your disposal on the site;
· How the information will be used;
· The third parties that can receive their information within the program;
· An opt-out option from the site's activity;
· Possibility to correct or renew their personal details;
· The site's policy regarding deleting the subscribers and their data base.
According to researches, the public opinion tends to admit that people tolerate receiving first unsolicited advertising messages, in case they have an opt-out option inside the message. Therefore, in order to be successful with ad e-mails, the companies have to be attentive to their target audience and to provide the safety of their personal information and private life.
Many well-known companies use direct response advertising in the Internet along with creating their positive image. They never send their target customers spam; instead, they offer the subscription only to those customers who got in touch with them via Internet themselves. It is hard to build up a good reputation in consumers' eyes making them feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, online advertising has to be friendly to consumers and to mind their preferences.