Email Intrusion 101 – Adding Names To Your Distribution List

The second most successful outcome of a newsletter strategy is to increase your email distribution list. The first of course is to increase your business with new orders and new projects. I’ve written on this topic extensively in my articles section on my web site as well as here on this blog. Checkout my previous article: How to grow your email distribution list for a good place to start. The best and most ethical practice is when visitors add themselves to your distribution list. Another option is to send a personal email to someone you’ve met and invite them to join your newsletter or ask them verbally for their permission to do so when you are with them. I would even suggest that it is somewhat acceptable to take the liberty and add someone to your list if you had a strong contact with them. However, you must allow them to easily reject your invitation (opt-out) by either allowing them to reply to your invitation or easily opt-out when they receive your newsletter.

My strong position remains that it is intrusive, poor business practice and unethical to add “strangers” to your list without their permission. When I get such obnoxious emails I view these individuals as desperate spammers, poor business people whom I would never do business with.

Checkout the following irritating example. Without my permission, I was placed on this email newsletter from someone ([email protected]) whom I’ve never met before. Below is the newsletter that opened up in my email (click on images to enlarge):

I immediately realized that this has no value for me, so I paged down to the bottom of the email to look for the unsubscribe option. There, all the way at the bottom of the page I noticed the “Update e-mail preferences” option:

When I clicked on it I realized a serious problem with this person’s logic. The email address embedded into the preferences option was not my own but their generic [email protected] address which would not allow me to unsubscribe. Here is what this screen looked like:

Now I started to get irritated. But quickly thinking on my feet, I realized I could simply reply to her original newsletter email and tell her to unsubscribe me. So I did, and within seconds of sending my email I got an email reply from her server (see below):

Apparently and in order to reduce the spam she receives, she decided to use this SpamArrest software (intrusive and I would NEVER
recommend it) which forces a first time user (such as me) to click on the link and request her permission to accept the email. Now I was livid. First, this confirmed that we were complete strangers who never exchanged emails before. Second, this demonstrated the hypocrisy of her trying to protect herself from the spamming techniques she was using on others.

I did click on the link to make sure she hopefully gets my email. The screen bellow did confirm that my email was hopefully sent.

Smirking, I looked at the screen pondering how better this world would be if these amateurs were arrested by the spam police.

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