I’ll put in a screenshot so you see what I mean:
The part that alarms me: “Copy the message below into an email. Send the email to friends to invite them.”
Wow, so old-fashioned. Are they avoiding possible forward-to-a-friend (FTAF) send issues? Is this just old-school for old-school users? Or, is this just a way they can avoid the whole hassle of spawning bulk issues from their mail servers, and otherwise storing and managing email accounts, unsubscriptions, etc.? Perhaps they don’t want this to be thought of as a harvesting or acquisition ploy, and this is an indicator that the market in general is shifting away from FTAF kind of methods? Intriguingly old-fashioned.
The “invite a friend” aspect of social networks like Pownce, Plurk, and countless others has spawned a few “is this spam” fears, especially with CAN-SPAM laws getting refined. Perhaps GoodReads solves this problem by offering APIs into 4 major inboxes, and then this clunky manual version by “copying it into an email.”
At first, being an online marketer, I thought they were encoding the link to source their referrals- but then realized, no, it’s so the invitee can find the inviter on these social networks. Still, pretty clunky, and I wonder how many people are doing it this way.
More Reading: CAN-SPAM and Forward-to-A-Friend
Return Path’s “CAN-SPAM Rules Update: What Senders Need to Know” Scroll down for the peer-to-peer clause, basically you’re OK if there’s no inducement to forward.
More small type from Exact Target