Too dissuasive anti spam (and anti conversion) process

Published on the 1 May 2011

Spams can be a hassle, and I agree sometimes you have to find a way to get rid of them. With current email systems and a few unsubscriptions, it’s become quite easy though, and I, for example, almost never see a spam: they go directly in my junk box. But according to how you use your email address, it can be more difficult. Last week, I tried to contact a company, and was surprised never to get an answer. Today, I finally realized it had been sent. Not only was the answer in my junk box, but it was an automatic reply. And this was not coming from the company itself, but from a website providing anti spam solutions. Basically, I had to click on a link, and then enter a captcha, before my first email was actually sent to the company. I was not a spammer, and could have become a client. Why make it so difficult to contact you? Except if you are overbooked for a few years, I wouldn’t advice going to so restrictive solutions. Let users contact you: this kind of process can definitely make a company loose customers and is of course quite bad for conversion.

After clicking on the link displayed in the email, I had to enter the above captcha. The website explains that I tried to contact a person protected by their services, and that this process is necessary to verify I am not a spammer. The key is that it is the first time I try to contact this person: maybe the website keeps my identity in case I try to reach another addresse protected by them? Could be interesting to know this.

The below message confirms that I am a real person, and that I will now be able to contact the person I was trying to reach without going through this process again. I completed the required tasks to see where it was going, and I am still surprised by all this. Why could a company want to prevent people from contacting them?