It’s a question I’ve asked myself on many occasions. And quite frankly, one I’m tired of asking. (It’s kind of like finding yourself in a Facebook group you never joined or agreed to join!)
If you find yourself on the receiving end of an email list you never signed up for, it means someone has added you to the list without your permission. That’s a big no-no. I do add clients to my list when they sign on, but also let them know I’m doing it so they can receive important information. No one has ever objected.
When it comes to email marketing; be ethical. Don’t add people to your list without their permission. It’s called permission-based marketing for a reason!When it comes to email marketing; be ethical. Don't add people to your list without permission.Click To Tweet
Yes, I know … most of us (even me) have been guilty of adding the small list of email addresses we had collected from friends and other business owners when first starting out. But that was because most of us didn’t know any better. It doesn’t make it right. It simply was what it was. When I started my business back in 1991, it wasn’t an issue because there were no opt-in forms or lists other than the contacts we had in Outlook or Yahoo or AOL or whatever email client we used back then.
Nowadays, the CAN-SPAM Act enacted in 2003 is a BIG thing and strictly enforced. Canada’s version of the CAN-SPAM Act (CASL) and enacted in 2014 is even stricter. Email marketing systems like 1ShoppingCart, Aweber, Infusionsoft, iContact, etc., take this subject very seriously, so you should too.
Combine the two anti-spam acts with how annoying it is to find you’ve been added to someone’s list without your permission, and you can see my point.
So to make it easy to understand, if someone doesn’t opt-in using an opt-in form on your website, or hasn’t given you express permission to add them to your list … don’t. Just don’t.
Just because someone gave you their business card at an event doesn’t give you permission to add them to your email list.
Just because you are in a networking group or mastermind group with someone doesn’t give you permission to add them to your email list.
Just because someone connected with you on LinkedIn doesn’t give you permission to add them to your email list.
You opting into to someone else’s list doesn’t give you permission to add them to YOUR email list.
Get the picture?
So, if you’ve been adding people to your email list without their permission, stop. Don’t beat yourself over the head for having done it, just don’t do it again.
Be ethical in your email marketing practices by practicing permission-based marketing!
If you don’t have a list or an email marketing strategy, you should. Contact us today to find out more about why you should have a list and an email marketing strategy!
And, if you’re not sure how an opt-in form works, you can try out the one below 😉
Also published on Medium.