I just got an email inviting me to yet another networking site. This was an interesting email, similar to others that I receive. Perhaps this was the straw that broke my back and forced me to comment.
This email came from "a friend," someone I don't know inviting me to join this website. When you look at the email more carefully, it is part of a blanket email sent by the company trying to recruit members to the site.
I find it offensive when companies claim familiarity and a relationship that doesn't exist. Sending a mail that looked like it may have been from my network, trying to get me to to something based on the presumed relationship is not just offensive. It is deceptive -- it starts the relationship on the basis of a lie. I can only presume the relationship will continue based on lies and lack of integrity.
If you have a product or service that you believe produces value then present it that way. Talk to your potential customers from a position of integrity and show them the value they will achieve. Trickery and deceit doesn't work--it's no way to build and sustain relationships of value. If you have to resort to these techniques, then perhaps you don't have a viable offering -- or you may not believe in your value yourself.
There seem to be a category of Internet marketers or consultants that think these approaches are the way to build a business -- at least based on the volume of similar emails that I receive. I prefer the simpler direct approach: "I have a product/service that I am proud of, I'd like to talk to you about how you might be able to get value out of it." I react much more positively to that message rather than these deceptive, poorly thought out message.
Oh, and by the way, to the guys at Notchup, I'm not interested in becoming an "invited member of your private beta."