Complaints About Klout Spam Rising



Klout’s recent email campaign may be backfiring spectacularly. The popular social
reputation site has begun sending emails to users to alert them when they’ve created a “moment”, the term they’ve given to posts and tweets that generate high response, like, or share rates. These “moments” contribute to the user’s score, which is on a scale of 0-100, the higher the better. Users with a high Klout score are often give perks-free samples, discounts, and other goodies. Letting users know that one of their posts has been noticed might have seemed like a great idea, but the company’s email notifications have been generating a high volume of complaints. Many users don’t care to be notified and are angry because they weren’t given a choice of whether they’d like to receive them or not. Some users had even forgotten they had an account on the site until they started getting the notifications, which may have been the campaign’s goal-getting people to want to visit the site.

The uproar over Klout’s new marketing campaign illustrates an important part. Launching a feature that will email users every time a specific event happens is just not a good idea unless you announce the feature and give them the choice to sign up for it or not. In fairness to Klout, they do provide a link to unsubscribe from the notifications at the bottom of each email (just as CAN-SPAM regulations require), but the fact that those emails have been considered by many to be unsolicited advertising has left the site in the position of having to defend itself from spam complaints and accusations. Not the results they’d been looking for I’m sure. Have you ever had an email marketing campaign backfire? Tell us about it! How did you handle it? What did you learn from it?

Written by Sue Walsh


  1. Maria Ortiz · August 14, 2013

    Won’t these marketing folks finally learn that it is not OK to send emails without asking for permission first? They could have included an option in user’s preferences for example that if checked means he or she wants to receive such emails but never take for granted that users are dying to get emails from you.

  2. Gay · August 27, 2013

    Some people just refuse to learn, Maria! I think these marketers know that they need to ask permission to send emails – bulk emails, at that. They just do not want to for some reason or another. I don’t think they do not know things like user’s options or opt-ins; they would not be in online marketing if they didn’t know these. Majority of them undergo some sort of training, I’m sure. And aren’t they instructed by their bosses (if they work with a group/company) about these matters? No wonder spammers have become extra confident in the things they do!

  3. Randy · August 28, 2013

    Ever since I never really liked Klout. I think it’s just for people who are so self-centered they always want to know how “influential” they are online. If their scores are low, they try to be more engaging. I don’t understand their methods of determining your scores either, and some websites such as Pinterest are not included.

  4. Stella · August 31, 2013

    @Randy: Klout is just one of the many tools that you can use to measure a person’s social and/or online influence. Pinterest, in fact, has its own analysis tool, and because it’s gaining more popularity, more apps are now being introduced. I just have to agree, though, in saying that all types of e-mails, especially for marketing, should be sent with permission.

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