Christian Mingle: Ultimate Spammers

It’s time to let fly with obscenities

It seems when organizations operate in the name of Jesus Christ, normal rules of marketing and P.R.—written and unwritten—still need be applied.

Back in 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston by Pope John Paul II. His crime: the cover-up of widespread abuse of children by pedophile priests under his aegis.

Cardinal Law fled the country and fetched up in a cushy job at the Vatican, safe from U.S. prosecution.

VATICAN CITYCardinal Bernard Law celebrated Mass in mourning for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday, ignoring protests from victims that his handling of the sex abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church should disqualify him from the honor. —Associated Press, April 11, 2005

Quite simply this action was a hard kick in the groins of Boston Catholics whose faith and families were ripped apart. It was also a bust in the chops to all U.S. Catholics and indeed to all Americans by a vindictive, sneering Vatican hierarchy.

These are not nice folks.

The Shame of Christian Mingle
A year or so ago my computer was besieged with spam from Christian Mingle urging me to “Find God’s Match.”

After going back-and-forth to get these people out of my life, I resorted to vicious obscenities. They worked. I did not hear from these creeps for maybe six months.

On Dec. 31, I received the following message from Christian Mingle:

GOD created a match for YOU – see WHO now!

Nowhere on the Christian Mingle email could I find an opportunity to opt out.

I replied with an email requesting no more communication, which was then returned as undeliverable.

I prowled the Christian Mingle website and found a listing for “contact.” I sent my request to be taken off the list. The Christian Mingle response:

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.
Related Content
Comments
  • Denny’s Friend

    I’m all for casting stones…but, Christian Mingle is not owned by Christians (see: http://www.spark.net/ and http://www.singleroots.com/who-owns-christian-mingle). That said, I’m sure some Christians spam. Regardless, I thought that you’d be interested in knowing since your blog came off as being hateful toward Christians (which may have been your ultimate point)…a view I’m cool with…but just say, "I hate Christians," and move on to more important matters.

  • Tez Cat

    I personally like and appreciate that Denny brought the church into this rant. My personal experiences have shown the more a person uses religion in their daily speech, the further they are from it.

    Go get ’em Denny!

  • Judy Colbert

    Denny, you were more than generous with your time, trying to unsubscribe to the emails. Personally, if I responded with a "Please unsubscribe" in the subject line and it bounced back as undeliverable, I would immediately do two things:
    One, report it as spam. I have no idea if that means even a hill of beans, but it makes me think I have a little say in my life.

    Two, put the eddress on my blocked email list. Theoretically, no more problems and no more unsolicited mail from them.

    Keep up the good work!

    Vent that spleen of yours in the name of those of us who don’t have a vent place.

    Judy

  • RJM

    These tactics are not unique to Christian Mingle. I have experienced similar tactics from eHarmony.

  • Cathy

    Good for you, Denny! I had no idea these folks had such despicable email marketing tactics. I’m fortunate to have never been contacted by them — although I actually AM single. But I ALWAYS fast forward through or leave the room during their creepy and self-aggrandizing TV commercials. Who are they to presume to identify "God’s match" for me? I hate their TV spots so much I’m actually glad to hear how insulting their other marketing attempts are too.

  • Motivations?

    While Mr. Hatch has some very good points to make regarding the marketing techniques employed by Christian Mingle, I’m confused by his opening with irrelevant information regarding Cardinal Law and the suggestion that anyone who may identify themselves as Christian is not "nice folk." What comes across as bragging about the use of obscenities in a snarky note to (the certainly delicate sensibilities of the likely intern) assigned to respond to his original note, is another clue that Mr. Hatch may have motivations other than giving advice on best practices for email marketing.

    Is there an editor at Target Marketing who reviews these posts?

  • Rachel

    I would think the fact that they don’t have an opt-out link in their email would violate CAN-Spam laws. Would there be any legal action that could be pursued? And the hoops they wanted you to jump through to get off their list is ridiculous! Excellent response.

  • Heidi Tolliver-Walker

    I write on mangled data-driven marketing myself, but like the previous respondent, I am disappointed that this issue appears to be used as a not so subtle platform for Mr. Hatch to vent about other issues of irritation to him. As analysts, we are given the privilege of a public platform. It is our responsibility to use it well.

    Back to the issue at hand, I am very happily married (found my spouse in Christian Mingle, in fact!), but after several years of marriage, I am still bombarded with ads from Match.com. Ironically, mostly women falling out of their push-up bras.

    This is an issue related to online mistargeting, and it is one I’m seeing in the blogosphere at lot these days. There is quite a bit of data out there right now about how mistargeted online advertising is causing readers to opt out — and another great reason to give more priority to the value of targeting in print.

  • Ray Ammari

    "…all they want is to MAKE MONEY" (quote from a previous post)… unfortunately, quite often, this sounds like the history of the contemporary Christian Church and most organized religions. The first time I saw a Christian Mingle ad, my first thought was… "who in the hell has the audacity to tell me they are capable of finding God’s Match For ME?"

    Jesus warned against organized religion, and even being the "Son of God", he didn’t have the "chutzpa" to tell his followers he could hook them up.

  • mikewrite

    So what does Bernard Law have to do with Christian Mingle?

  • Moi

    I think the reason a lot of us read Denny is that he is a cantankerous SOB. I think his wife may be the Editor :-) Anyway his nuggets of wisdom are always there if you can mine through his personal editorial for it. His style isn’t for everyone but I love it…

  • opcormier

    LOL!!!!! This was fabulous!! Spot on as usual.

  • GUEST1941

    Do you mean that Jews (in Beverly Hills) would do this to the Goy, to make a buck?