I’ll do almost anything for miles. So when I got American Airlines’ email offering 1,000 miles for each friend I refer to the American Advantage program, I thought: no brainer. I’ll post to my Facebook profile and who knows, I just might know someone who will follow the link. A long shot, to be sure, but why not see what happens?

Ready to convert, I clicked through the email link and landed a Flash landing page (oops, I do a lot of reading junk mail on my iPhone, so not being able to see this page on my phone becomes a likely reason for me to forget about responding to the offer). But back on my computer (how many people would give this email a second chance at this point?) I click the link to find that I have to give up the email addresses of my friends. There’s no link I can share in my social network. Big miss.

Most of the people I know probably have their airline memberships anyway. So for a thousand miles, I’m going to go through my address book and think of who might not be an AA member? And then have sell my friends out and have a cheesy corporate email sent to them essentially saying “Hey you, Brian sold you out. Want to become a member?” Not a chance.

If I had a personal link that I could add to my Facebook wall, I’d throw it out, post some funny message about how desperate and laughable I am, and see if anyone took the bait. But to think about whom to send the pitch to, and to give up my friends’ email addresses, is just not something I’ll do. It’s an outdated tactic that feels out of touch with the current state of digital marketing. Time for an upgrade.