This morning I received an email from someone I barely knew at a job I worked at long, long ago – they were ‘reminding’ me about their new music venture this week, using a commercial email marketing service. Not only am I not going to this event, I opted out of all future emails from this person. Why did I unsubscribe from this person’s email list? Here are my Top Two reasons:
- I haven’t heard from this person in years
- I wasn’t asked if I wanted to join the email list
Now let me say, I’m all for responsible email marketing; heck, I do it myself, and have done it for clients. I’ve also used the exact same commercial email marketing service this person used. But, you can damage your business reputation and your brand by using this tactic thoughtlessly and carelessly.
You might have heard about a little concept called ‘permission marketing’ that author and marketing guy Seth Godin came up with a few years back; here’s an excellent explanation about permission marketing from Seth’s own blog.
Basically, when someone is ‘paying attention’ to you and your horse business, they are giving you a precious commodity – their time and attention. Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t give you the right to clog up their inbox with things that are important to YOU, but probably aren’t to THEM.
How could this person have done things differently and perhaps converted me into a fan? It’s the same way you can grow your own permission-based email list:
- Send a personal email first, saying ‘Hi, I know it’s been a long time but here’s what I’m up to and I’d love your support….’ and invite them to opt-in, or join, your email list.
- OR, if an email list is too long or there’s too much of a time crunch to send individual personal emails, send two emails through the email service: One to give a heads up and invite the recipient to subscribe for future announcements, followed 1-2 days later by the actual announcement.
It’s something to think about if you’re pursuing email marketing as a strategy for your horse business. While it takes more time and effort in the beginning to get someone’s permission, in the long run you’ll have more credibility, gain your audience’s trust, and have the opportunity to build your audience instead of losing them to the competition.
What about you? Have you experienced receiving unsolicited emails? Tell me what you think!