By Paola Bassanese
I receive 2-3 emails a week from SEO companies selling me their services to “improve” my website rating. I also receive cold calls from companies selling me advertising services.
I didn’t sign up to receive their information and when I gently make them aware of this they reply in a defensive manner. The email disclaimer of these companies usually quotes the following: “This is a genuine business enquiry and the email is sent strictly on the following guidelines. We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this mail, also clearly mentioned the subject lines and they are in no way misleading in any form. We have found your mail address through our own efforts on the web search and not through any illegal way.”
Collecting emails from doing web searches and then adding them to an email management system to send unsolicited messages is not permission-based marketing.
In the United Kingdom, customers need to opt-in to receive marketing communications according to The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
Sending mass emails from addresses gathered from web browsing means that the customers being approached did not request the information in the first place.
When I send an email newsletter to my customer base it is because my clients gave me written permission to add them to my database. Even so, after a few months and years, some customers who used to read my newsletters end up unsubscribing for a number of reasons:
- they moved country
- they are no longer interested in receiving massage treatments
- they either think I am emailing too frequently or that my information is no longer relevant to them
Because they have unsubscribed, I don’t want to be nosy and ask them why. Sometimes when people unsubscribe from my newsletter they don’t explain the reasons why and it’s not my place to ask. If I contacted them again after they unsubscribed it would be intrusive. It’s all part of business and that’s fine.
When I unsubscribe from unsolicited emails and phone calls/text messages from companies, instead, I get angry and defensive messages back. How dare I stop receiving their fabulous marketing promotions??? Well, because I am just not interested and I did not ask for the information.
Service providers, may this serve you all as a reminder: permission-based marketing means getting written permission from prospects and customers to receive your information.