I’ve started having to scroll through junk again these days since my email filters have gone wonky.
To my horror I discovered . . . (WATCH the VIDEO)
that I’ve been added arbitrarily, no permission asked (and none granted), to even more mailing lists belonging to colleagues, business acquaintances and networking contacts. This is NOT okay. This is not good email etiquette nor sound list (or community) building.
It is never okay to add anyone, without their express permission, to your mailing list. Not only is it inappropriate and poor email etiquette, it is against the law and you can be fined or your account shut down for spamming.
Here are a handful of ways you might meet people, where it is NOT okay for you to simply add them to your list.
- You are their coach, or they are your coach (it is still optional!)
- You met them on a panel you moderated or participated in (happened recently.)
- You met them at a networking event and traded business cards. (Real estate agent did this to me recently, I’m not in the market!)
- You attended a seminar and sat next to each other and swapped cards and conversation.
- You met them in a Starbuck’s line.
- You connected with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
Stop it, just STOP IT! When I want to be on your list, I’ll do it this way (it is up to the individual, not up to you):
- Opt-in form on your website
- Exit Pop with opt-in on your website
- Sign up on the clipboard you pass around at a live event (not my favorite but gives permission)
- Give you my business card with YES printed clearly on the back because you asked those of us who were interested, to let you know at a live event you spoke at.
This is not about building your numbers. When you add people without permission, we are well within our rights to tag you as SPAM when we unsubscribe.
Besides don’t you think that if I am truly your target market (not a colleague, not an acquaintance, not a random networking meet up, not a friend, not a competitor) and you provide genuine value, I’d jump on your list? Don’t you think I’d clamor to be in your community?
Meeting me either virtually or live in reality DOES NOT give you permission to add me to any list you have, that is unprofessional email etiquette. It does give me the right to label you SPAM when I unsubscribe (yes I know I said that once already, it needs to be reiterated), and ultimately enough of those incidents and your email service (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Infusionsoft, Aweber or others) is going to penalize you accordingly. In addition, you will have pissed off potential clients and customers who will likely tell others about their unfortunate experience.
As always, your comments are valuable to me, please share your thoughts on email etiquette, permission based marketing and your experience with people spamming you, below.