Please don’t add me to your email list

Email spam
It surprises me how many vendors add me to their email lists without asking or even knowing if I have a need or interest in their product or service. Sure, it’s an easy form of marketing. You create a newsletter or some other promotional piece and blast it out to anyone and everyone. But, really, how effective is it? And a better question is, compared to the number of leads you receive, how many more people do you tick off because they never asked to be added to your list?

I’m fine with suppliers reaching out to me via email—especially if it is a personal message. But please ask my permission before adding me to an email campaign where I receive regular promotional messages.

Yes, I know I can unsubscribe and it takes two seconds, but it’s the principle. I never asked for your information. I don’t have a need for your product or service. And if I did, I would ask.

And keep in mind, by sending unsolicited emails, you run the risk of the recipient adding you to their blocked sender list, thus prohibiting all future messages from reaching them, including personal email.

So what should you do instead? Grow your customer base the old-fashioned way by building relationships. If you meet a planner at an industry function or connect with them on LinkedIn, send them a personal email or handwritten note. Give them a call every now and then or follow up with another personal email. Get the picture? Some things take time and this is one of them. Trust me, you aren’t going to get your next huge booking by sending spam.

How have you been successful in staying in touch with customers and potential customers?

Image by Flicker user Sybren A. Stüvel (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

6 comments on “Please don’t add me to your email list

  1. Uh huh .. me too, Cara! That said .. isn’t it like cold calls? FAM trips? Hosted buyer events? Vendors want customers and they’ll ‘solicit’ any way they can. I wonder what the ROI is for all of these ways of marketing so scatter-shot.

    • Thanks Joan and I wonder too. I’ve said it a million times–take the time to do your homework and get to know your customer and their needs and personalize your approach. Go for quality vs. quantity. The issue, I’m afraid, is that hotel management doesn’t see it that way and just wants to see numbers: how many calls did you make? how many leads did you generated? how many business cards did you collect? Maybe I’m wrong… and hopefully I am.

      • I fear, Cara, that is is about how many biz cards one can collect — that result in the “So good to see you at the xxxx meeting” but perhaps no real lead/s. Or maybe planners are pretending to have leads and/or interest to get free stuff. All around, we need to redo our industry’s way of doing business. Thanks!

  2. Hi Cara…it ain’t a perfect world. First, I have to market my company because it is new and I can’t afford to pay for SEO via ppc or whatever. I could call you and introduce myself but who the heck takes telephone calls from vendors anymore. May be I could meet you at an industry function but that’s tough…if you go, you’re probably hanging with your planner friends…tough to go up and introduce oneself…in some cases it’s even creepy.. Direct mail is too expensive, try making an appointments on a sales trip and when was the last time you actually read an industry magazine?

    So as a supplier, you buy and borrow lists, takes names and addresses from organizations that you belong to, update your old client lists and you send out e-mail blasts…hopefully with a subject line that will intrigue to open..

    I get 150 e-mails a day. I hate spam. But, how do I introduce you to my product?

    • All great points, Lex! Thanks so much for your comments. My beef is with companies adding me to a mailing list where I hear from them every other week, weekly or sometimes even more frequently. If you send me an email to introduce yourself (even if it is a mass email,) that’s fine. If I’m interested, I’ll respond and/or subscribe to your list to get future mailings.

      Of course, if you want to catch my eye and you are sending a mass email, don’t make it look like a mass email. The more personal and applicable to me, the better. Does that help?

  3. […] few weeks ago, I urged you not to add people to your email lists without their permission. For those who have […]

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