What are e-mail extractors for?
April 15, 2002
Most people think e-mail extractor is a one from spam programs. It is a major spammer's tool, indeed. But, like any other tool, e-mail extractors can be used for many different applications. The very fact that you are extracting emails list from an HTML document on a local disc or on a web-site doesn't explicitly mean that you are going to send unwanted messages to the addresses extracted.
Below you will find a couple of examples of how one can use e-mail extractor for absolutely "legal" purposes:
- Not all of the online payment systems provide for export of customers mailing list. You will receive a beautiful report in the HTML format, but you will have to extract email address from it manually. Bulk email extractor is here to do this donkey work for you, and once the work is done you can send out notifications of new version release or of successful order processing.
- You have a guestbook on your site where visitors leave their e-mail contacts. We have all grounds to suppose they do that to get in contact with you, so they don't mind if you use their addresses. And if you need to contact them, the simplest way is to download e-mail extractor.
- One of the old threads in your forum was concerned with a problem you've just found a solution for. How can you inform the discussion participants about that, if the thread has already moved into archive and somebody would hardly read it? How to extract emails of the thread participants without using an email address extractor?
Getting addresses from web pages is quite an ordinary task. People have spent and keep spending money to establish and facilitate contacts -- they make business cards, buy fax machines, mobile phones, and pagers. E-mail is one of the cheapest and most convenient communication tools. The Web is one of the most convenient and cheap media. It is observance of the communication ethics that matters.
If you're using targeted emails list and give your recipients an option to unsubscribe, you will never annoy somebody. If your mailing list contains "random" addresses, if you don't keep to basic ethical norms in your messages, don't be surprised with sharp reactions and punitive actions from providers, hosters, and recipients. People are extremely negative towards using of bulk email software because we find more and more junk messages in our mailboxes, and we are forced to pay our money for receiving them and to spend our time on deleting them.
One can collect targeted emails not only over bulletin boards and guestbooks. People look for employees and employers on specialized servers and in special conferences; they search for buyers and sellers over online auctions and shops. They use tens of software products in their work, including bulk email software.
This is cheaper than visiting exhibitions and collecting managers' business cards. This is cheaper than buying magazines in search for information. The Web is the most convenient and the cheapest environment to search for information and to publish it. And it would be strange to neglect it. You can even find free bulk email software, including free email extractor, if you prefer to save money rather than to use high-quality commercial products.
Don't go witch-hunt labeling all email extractors as "spam software". Don't bother people with junk mail. Don't run to extremes.