How In The Heck Did I Get On This List? – Take 2!
If this post seems familiar to you, it’s because it’s one I wrote a little more than a year ago. However, it’s still very relevant to email marketing today, and unfortunately, is still a huge issue for many of us. Such a huge issue, I decided a repeat (with some tweaks here and there) was in order.
Seeing a newsletter or sales email in my inbox (not from an individual, but one sent out via someone’s mailing list provider), and wondering who in the heck they are, or how in the heck I got on their list, has happened on far too many occasions. And quite frankly, it’s something that continues to baffle and irritate me to no end. 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 new clients to my list when they sign on, but also let them know I’m doing it so they can receive important information. None of them have ever objected, because we are sending them information of value and benefit, that are also related to the services we provide. And, they know they can unsubscribe at any time.
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! “Without their permission” includes people you exchange business cards with at an event – who have not specifically said “please add me to your list.” It includes people who have scheduled consultation calls with you – who have not specifically said “please add me to your list.” It includes all of the contacts in your email system (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, whatever you use) – who have not specifically said “please add me to your list.”
Do you see a common thread here? It includes anyone and everyone who has not specifically said “please add me to your list.” That’s it. End of discussion.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. (And that means NOT exporting your LinkedIn contacts and importing them into your list just because you can.)
You opting in 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.