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Ask before sharing emails

We all hate spam. Most of us get too many emails to deal with them all properly. We don’t have time to read every enewsletter, not even time to read all the good ones, so we can’t subscribe to them all and stay sane!

So why then do some business people think it’s ok to subscribe to you their lists without your permission?

Just because I am your friend or I have done some work for you does not mean I want to read your newsletter – rather, I may want to but I probably don’t have the time to read something I haven’t carefully selected.

A number of people have added me to their lists because they know me, or because I wrote for them or because I gave them a quote to write for them! None of these behaviours is acceptable to me – sure send me a copy and invite me to subscribe, but don’t just subscribe me.

A couple of specific recent examples that will hopefully help you avoid annoying potential (or actual) clients…

  • I attempted to watch an online seminar. I gave my email address purely for access to the seminar (there was no disclaimer I was signing to a newsletter) and she started sending me 3 or 4 emails a week. What’s worse is the seminar never worked so I have no reason to read even one of those emails
  • I responded to a newsletter which mentioned a particular offer; I asked for a few details so I could decide if I was interested. Next thing, I am getting emails from two totally unrelated people. What’s worse, both those people are including me in a cc field with a whole group of people! So not only am I getting unwanted emails from people I never gave my email to in the first place, they are sharing my email with other people! Not the way to impress me into using their services I assure you
  • someone who contacted me two years ago, and who has not maintained a relationship with me, recently added a new arm to her business and has subscribed me to that new arm’s newsletter. I have never contacted her or shown an interest in her services, so why can she assume I want her newsletter?
  • So to avoid annoying people and therefore potentially loosing clients and getting bad word of mouth, remember:

    • don’t subscribe people to your newsletter. EVER. Send a single copy and invite them, but do not subscribe them without their knowledge & permission
    • if sending a group email, use the bcc field not the cc field unless it a discussion and all parties are aware of each other. Especially as emails can be forwarded so who knows where my email address would end up…
    • don’t give someone else’s email address to others for their newsletter. It’s one thing to give it as a referral (e.g. “Email Tash on … as she’s a great writer”) but otherwise you should protect the emails you have been entrusted with. If in doubt, ask if it’s ok to pass on someone’s details

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