A few years ago, while visiting my brother at Clemson, some creeper came up from behind me with a pair of scissors and cut off a piece of my hair because he liked my curls. Granted, it was extremely weird and disturbing, but if the kid liked it so much, he should have asked and maybe I would have considered cutting off a curl in a inconspicuous spot for him. But he never made his case. He only pissed me off by assuming it was okay. It may be an odd metaphor, but the same goes for email intruders.
Recently, a nice fellow sent me an email introducing himself and his company in case I want to use his services in the future. Nice gesture as I love introductions and connections, so I thanked him and agreed to meeting down the road. Not 2 hours later, did I start getting email marketing blasts from him with promotional offers and specials. Excuse me, but last time I checked, I didn’t sign up for that. It’s a sneaky, intrusive way to get me in the loop. In case he or you haven’t realized, the people are on top. We choose which companies we want to follow and connect with. Anything else, like pop-up advertisements or unsolicited emails, is a pain in the ass.
It’s one thing if you ask someone if they would like to sign up to receive emails, it’s another to put someone on the list without even asking. It’s comes off like spam. And I hate spam, whether it comes to my inbox or in a can. If he asked, I probably would have agreed to sign up for weekly emails. (personally, I think weekly for a company is a bit overkill) So now, as I continue to receive emails I don’t want, I’m faced with asking him to take me off the list and appearing rude.
So if you are wanting to establish an email marketing contact list, don’t just assume people want to receive emails from you. Ask first or set up an email subscription database through a source like Constant Contact. More importantly, depending on whether you are promoting your personal brand or company, consider if you want to appear as you, or as the company in someone’s inbox. Because in this case, I receive the emails from a representative, not the company itself, so now I hold negative associations towards the company, which ends up hurting the brand’s reputation. Tisk, tisk.
Please, weigh in. Do you think it is unprofessional when people use shady tactics to put you on their email marketing list?