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About a month ago I attended a business networking group meeting for the first time.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and left the event with a lot of new contacts that I hope to meet with again, there was one gentleman that seems to not understand proper email etiquette.

Every since that networking group meeting, which was the first time I’ve ever come across this dude, there has been an email every single day from him promoting his financial advisory business.

TWO OF THEM no less! He entered my name twice into his database and has been emailing every day like clockwork.

Costly Mistake #1A

I requested to be removed from the broadcast not realizing I was actually in there twice … so I’m at least down to one unrequested email per day instead of two.  I thought one request would remove both since they go to the same email address.  I guess not so lucky me! I get to send two removal requests for a series of emails I never wanted in the first place.

If you’re going to broadcast email every day, make the opt-out process simple and one time (preferably one simple click)! Don’t confirm the fact that someone opted-out while trying to make them feel guilty for doing so.  They’re asking you NOT to email again, and that’s part of the CAN SPAM regulations by the way.

Look, I truly admire this cat’s enthusiasm and persistence, but a networking group meeting is not a substitute opt-in for a broadcast list!

Introductory Promotions Are One Thing

If you know anything about me, you know I have no problem sending someone one (unsolicited) email that encourages opting into a list or promoting a free offer to someone that has never heard of you.

I’ve done it and will probably continue to do it when I believe I have a quality free offer that business owners can benefit greatly from.

That’s part of business these days, much like sending a letter in the mail, but I don’t encourage repeatedly emailing people that didn’t opt-in somewhere or specifically request more information (that’s spam).

Meeting in Person = Permission to Spam?

When you meet someone in person, you don’t magically obtain the right to add them to an auto-responder or broadcast list to hammer every single day to promote your stuff.

Sorry, that’s bad form regardless of how nice you may have been in person or how compelling you believe your offer/story to be.

You Know What They Say When You ASSUME!

The next time you’re at a networking group, don’t assume that because someone gives you their card that they’re asking for daily emails about you, your product or service, or your back story.  That’s what an opt-in form is all about … simply send a follow up email that lets people know you have an update service should they wish to get more information from you. Guide them to the form and be done with it!

Easy Rule of Thumb

Here’s a rule of thumb I tend to follow: would you pay the money necessary to type out whatever you plan to say in your daily email broadcast, print it out, stuff it into an envelope, pay for postage and mail it out?  That could get expensive quickly, right? Is your daily unrequested broadcast email THAT valuable?

Most of the time, these emails wouldn’t be worth the value of the ink on the paper, and the senders know it.

The Bottom Line

If you wouldn’t pay to put a stamp on it, you shouldn’t email it!

At least that’s how I look at introductory emails … just because email is free (for now) doesn’t mean you don’t weigh out the value of the communication as if it would cost the same as regular mail.