- Solicit business
- Ask for a donation to some cause
- Are one of those email forwards (photos of our troops, this will give you goosebumps-type email)
Really? You’re filling up my email box with this stuff when you don’t even know if I want it?
And it made me realize that perhaps we’re not all clear on what “unsolicited” email really is, and the rules that you’re bound by.
Now we’ve talked about spam here as it relates to your social networks. And we use that term because most people understand that spam is a message they don’t want. Traditionally it’s related to email. Think about how you feel when your inbox fills up with messages you don’t want. Why would you do that to someone else?
The CAN-SPAM act in the United States, and similar legislation in other countries, makes it a crime to send unsolicited email. These laws exist for the same reason the “Do Not Call” list was invented for telemarketing…people don’t want your messages. And if they don’t want them, how effective could they possibly be?
And here’s another thing to consider. Your company has rules against this type of behavior as well, and you agreed to them when you signed your consultant agreement. They say something along the lines of:
Unsolicited Email Spamming / Mass E-mailing
You are not allowed to transmit mass, unsolicited emails to promote COMPANY, its products or the COMPANY opportunity to people who you do not know, or who have not given you permission to contact them. People who are ‘opt in’ subscribers, who have initiated a request to be included in bulk emailing, newsletter or other standardized communications from you are allowed.
Don’t believe me? Go look. I promise you it’s in there. So when you send this kind of stuff you are breaking the rules of your company too. You could lose your entire business over this.
Bottom line: if someone has not (1) purchased from you, (2) joined your business, or (3) signed up for your newsletter on their own (either through an online form, your order form checkbox, or giving you verbal permission), you can’t email them business stuff. And I would add to this that you shouldn’t send email forwards, fundraising stuff, etc to business contacts if they haven’t met one of those 3 criteria either. When you do, you are annoying people who might otherwise have been interested in your business. Why would you damage your credibility that way?
Email spam is unwanted. Don’t do it.
image credit: cogdogblog