I hate Spam. I have no shame in posting to newsgroups with my real name and email address and as a result I get about 100 spam messages a day that an ornate set of rules in Outlook catch 99% of the time so it really doesn't affect me too much. Occassionally though one slips through.
The latest one is a company that makes and is marketing a .NET component. Now, maybe I have a closeted view of the development community out there but it's my understanding that there is not a single developer out there that enjoys or appreciates spam, me included. So, when I got a nice ornate spam message from email@example.com marketing their apparently quite useless component for importing delimited text from text files (ADO.NET can do that out of the box) it got me riled on a number of levels. First up, developers should appreciate netiquette, and thus should not spam other developers. We have enough on our plates without your annoying cheapo marketing clogging up our inboxes. Secondly, research your market better. I don't need a component that can read text files - I can do that with about 10 lines of code. I also most definately won't ever pay for such a thing.
If you don't want to spend any money on marketing but attract fantastic attention for your product here's what you do
1. Write a killer, essential, best of breed component or tool that solves a very real need in the development world.
2. Give it to reviewers after politely asking them if they would like it. Give out free time locked demos to developers by advertising your new product in the appropriate places (there are plenty of .announce newsgroups out there)
3. Be active, very active, in the community so that we all get to know who you are and respect you and what you can do.
These things cost nothing other than time. THese things result in wonderfully successful products (take CodeRush for example), and best of all they dont annoy anyone or lose you sales by following practices that just make your company appear completely naff, annoying and cheap.
If anyone want's to learn more about the product, feel free to return the spam to firstname.lastname@example.org.