I’ve noticed a new trend: authors, tour hosts, and/or bloggers adding bloggers to their mailing lists without their permission and without any way to unsubscribe! This makes me RAGE! I find it extremely rude and a horrible business practice. But more importantly…
This is spam!
If you add someone to your mailing list without their permission, it’s SPAM. It’s going to hurt your entire marketing campaign, the recipients will not like you for it, and if enough people decide to report your messages as “spam” (which they’re allowed to do if you added them without permission), then your emails could get banned or automatically put into spam folders.
Adding me to your list without my permission is the quickest way to get me to hate your products/services
If you add me to your mailing list without asking me, I will dislike you right off the bat. It shows that you don’t respect me enough to get my permission before trying to throw your products/services in my face. It means I will probably never ever buy your book, sign up for your blog tour, or read your posts.
And if you don’t have an “unsbuscribe” option? That’s a double whammy. There is no quicker way to piss off the people on your mailing list. If you’re selling or promoting something, why would you want to piss off your potential customers/reviewers?
If you don’t have an “unsubscribe” option, you’re in violation of CAN-SPAM!
Most of the newsletters I’ve been added to are not done through a third party service (like MailChimp or ConstantContact) so they do not have an “unsubscribe” option. Instead, they’re just sent through Gmail using “BBC” (or even with all the emails in the “To” field!!!!). This means there is absolutely NO way to get yourself off that mailing list, except to email the person directly and say, “Please remove me”, then wait for them to actually remove you (which they may not do).
Maybe I’m being silly, but I think that’s awkward, especially because at least one of the lists I was added to was made by someone I know. It puts a huge, awkward spotlight on me if I have to message them directly and ask them to remove me.
If you do not have an “unsubscribe” option, you are in violation of the CAN-SPAM act.
Comply with CAN-SPAM
It’s important for all marketers to abide by the CAN-SPAM act. This act was signed into law in 2003 in order to help regulate commercial/marketing emails.
The CAN-SPAM act has a few key points:
- A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails.
- Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days.
- Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes.
- Relevant subject lines (relative to offer in body content and not deceptive)
- A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present.
Sending behavior compliance
- A message cannot be sent without an unsubscribe option.
- A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address.
- Unsubscribe option should be below the message.
These are just a few highlights, so I recommend you read up on the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 in more depth.
- Please Don’t Add Me to Your Email List
- Are You Adding People to Your E-mail List Without Their Permission?
- How to Make People Hate Your Email Newsletter
- Complying With CAN-SPAM: A 10-Point Checklist for Marketers