Lately, I've been receiving some new newsletters in my inbox, from businesses that I have really no idea who they are. It took me a few weeks to figure it out why I was receiving them.
I had attended a networking meeting.
Co-incidentally I had also been receiving some FB friend requests from people I did not know. Turns out they were from the same networking group.
So here's the thing; If I don't know you personally I'm not going to accept your friend request. Nothing personal, it's just that I try to keep my business and my personal life separate online. If you want to know more about my business then please like and follow one of my FB business pages or check out one of my blogs. It's also a good idea to actually meet in person and introduce yourself, again in person, rather than blindly sending out FB friend requests.
Also, just because you are in the same room with someone, and have access to their business card, does not mean you can add them to your newsletter or email list. You must actually have their permission.
That means trolling for email addresses in a collection of business cards from a networking event does not give you permission to put them on your list. Asking someone "Can I add you to my list" or having a conversation that includes phrases like "I just explained your question really well on my blog/newsletter/email marketing, can I send it to you?" is how to ask for permission to add them to your list.
Call me old fashioned, but it's polite etiquette to ask first. It also keeps you legal with CAN-SPAM, which covers commercial emails, not cans of spam.
A quick anonymous thank you goes out to the gentleman who actually called and left an apology on my voice mail yesterday. I had unsubscribed from his newsletter, one of the ones I did not subscribe to, and he apologized for adding me to his list. Thank you for actually reading my comments on why I was unsubscribing. I might have been a bit snarky, but it was getting frustrated with all the newsletters in my inbox.
In thinking about this I did a bit of research, and I found some pretty good articles about this online as well: