Your Newsletter Tastes Like Spam

This is a guest post from Small Business Advisor Vernessa Taylor, better known as @CoachNotesBlog on Twitter. Vernessa is the person I rely on for Linux remote technical support. (She does Windows, VOIP, and much more, too.)

Wouldn’t You Prefer The Sweet After-Taste of Spanakopita?

Your Newsletter Tastes Like Spam (Not Spanakopita)

Checking one of my overflowing email in-boxes, I encountered two email messages that led to this article. Neither one was marked as spam but both were from names I didn’t immediately recognize.

Not recognizing the name of the person sending me an email is not a reason to relegate it to the spam folder. In fact, those emails generally get my attention, get opened, then (maybe) get moved to the spam bin. (My filters are pretty aggressive, so if they didn’t catch it, it might be worthy of a look-see.)

This time, they not only piqued my interest, they piqued my ire.

One entrepreneur to another, I don’t mind newsletters, ezines, online magazines . . . or whatever you call yours.

Don’t Get The Wrong Idea . . .

  • I believe in autoresponse systems as a method of automating communications with visitors and customers.
  • I love the idea of marketing (especially email marketing), and both online and offline promotion — when done tastefully.
  • And I don’t mind affiliate links to useful products or personal recommendations where you have a relationship with the provider.

Neither do I mind referring you and whatever you’re offering so long as you’re reputable and what you’re offering makes sense for my own clients, visitors, and friends. (And if you have a customer referral system in place, some rewards, or kudos, I really, really won’t mind.)

The fifty-cents question is this:

What kind of hard-head would I be if I didn’t make use of any of the above?

But, let me tell you, one business person to another, there are definitely some things I DO mind. You guessed it: newsletters, ezines, online magazines, and email communications that taste like spam are one of them!

Just in case you don’t have a clue, let me clue you in . . .

Let Me Unsubscribe

I do mind not being able to easily UNsubscribe

  • Don’t hide the link. Everyone knows it’s supposed to be there.
  • Don’t send the link to a landing page that takes more smarts to figure out than a kindergartner already possesses.
  • Don’t berate me, insult me, or otherwise try to make me feel bad because unsubscribing is what I want to do. (I’ve probably got a good reason, but even if I don’t, woulldn’t you say that’s my perogative?)

Get My Permission

Yes, I do mind signing up for ONE of your newsletters and you adding me to several others without my explicit permission.

The ONLY exception to this rule, in my book, is if I become your customer and you’ve set up a sensible system that removes me from your prospects list over to your exclusive customers’ list so that I’m not still offered the same thing I already bought!

Even so, it’s better to have me opt-in on the Thank You page. Just sayin’.

Your Friends Ain’t My Friends, Yet

I do mind you sharing my name and email with your good friend and busom buddy who has a great deal for YOUR subscribers.

Why don’t YOU share your good friend, busom buddy’s name and email with ME, so I can select whether or not I even want to hear from him?

I appreciate referrals. Just refer HIM to ME … I’ll take (or not take) the next step.

The Right After-Taste

Don’t leave the nasty taste of preprocessed, congealed spammy meat in the mouths of those who might contribute to your bread-and-butter. Because wouldn’t you rather that after-taste be more like the remembrance of a nice slice of Spanakopita?

This is the place where I give you some tips … but I won’t. Because you already know what to do, right? ‘Nuf said.

(Well, maybe not quite enough . . . Let’s hear your comments!)

Photo Credit: Slice of Greek Spanakopita by Stu Spivack (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons

NOTE from GrowMap: With any luck we’ll be hearing much more from Vernessa Taylor. I’m asking her to share her vast knowledge of time-saving business optimization skills whenever she can make the time. Be sure to check out her blog for exceptional advice on topics such as why using autoresponse systems is an essential time-saver and income grower for local and small businesses. (More articles by Vernessa here on GrowMap.)

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Vernessa Taylor is a micro and small business champion -- helping professionals, solopreneurs and consultants choose and use automation and smart technologies to build and manage their businesses. A techie with a quirky sense of humor, she writes serious stuff at CoachNotes Blog. Connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.

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