At a recent networking function I met an experienced business consultant who was actively seeking new business. Following meeting live, he invited me to connect on LinkedIn and I connected. His next action surprised and dismayed me. He put me on his email list as a subscriber WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. This is not okay.
Yes, fortunately he was smart enough to have an unsubscribe at the bottom, but honestly he never should have subscribed me to start with. That is my choice, not his.
Could he have sent me an invitation? Absolutely, and it would have made a lot more sense particularly if he’d invited me to subscribe by giving me some useful value content as that ethical bribe, otherwise known as an opt-in goody. BUT, just because you are connected to someone on LinkedIn, or someone “likes” your Facebook page, or someone is trailing you on Twitter, does not give you the right not put them on your email list. Email today is a choice, it is up to the recipient, not the sender, whose email they want to receive.
On a daily basis I get over 600 junk mails, I skim these briefly in case something worthwhile fell in like a new business contact who wasn’t familiar to my system. But I totally don’t have the time or interest in those who arbitrarily put me on their list. I find it offensive, irritating, time wasting, and makes me not want to talk with them again, the exact opposite of the reaction they want. I am not alone.
So here you have it, the 3 Fast and Easy Ways to FAIL at Email Marketing:
1. Do NOT include an unsubscribe or opt-out on every mail.
2. Put people on your list withOUT their permission, just because you connected to them on LinkedIn, they liked you on Facebook, or they follow you on Twitter.
3. Subscribe everyone you know to your ezine (electronic newsletter) even when they didn’t ask for it, aren’t part of your target market (think your colleagues), and aren’t interested.
Oh and on that last one, I have colleagues who have me on their list for absolutely no good reason. If I try to unsubscribe, they get offended not realizing that I’m not their target market. Honestly, I don’t look at my unsubscribes beyond the numbers. I feel it is a private decision if someone wants out of my community and I honor that. Sure I care, but I know that for everyone that isn’t a fit, there are plenty more that are and those are the ones I want to cater to.
I welcome your comments on this time gobbler and head banger of an issue. Talk to me in the comments here. I am listening!