When Is It OK To Just Add People To Your Mailing List?

When Is It OK To Just Add People To Your Mailing List?

Hi there, folks. Paul Barrs, signing in for a very quick YouTube update.

One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “Is it okay, if I’ve met someone and I’ve got their business card or I’ve met them online, to add them to my mailing list?”

Look, for some of us this is a “I want to build my mailing list” and it’s a quandary. What should we do? For others of us, it’s like, “Oh my goodness, are you serious?” Here’s the simple answer.

No. Absolutely not. No. I work a lot in the small business and medium business sector here in my local region. I go to networking events. I’m well-known. A lot of people give me their cards. How do you think they’re going to feel about me if I then take that email address and add it to my weekly newsletter list? Is that a good idea? Absolutely not. It’s a terrible idea.

Which leads me to the next question, then. Why, if I’m your friend on LinkedIn or on Facebook or on G+ or wherever the hell I might be, why do you think I’ve given you permission to add me to your mailing list? Now, this is something that I’ve seen happen a couple of times just in the last week alone. In one case, it was me and I responded, “I don’t recall subscribing for this. I have unsubscribed.” And, you know, over and out.

Some people, however, feel that because you may have connected that it’s okay to add them to their list. Now here’s the response that I was given:
“Oh it was just a one-shot thing and you can easily unsubscribe.” Alright. Here’s my answer: “Bullshit! It’s not a one-shot thing. It’s a freaking mailing list. And you do not add me or any prospective customer without their explicit permission.” “Hi, my name’s Paul and yes, it’s okay. I’d love to receive your weekly newsletter.” That’s explicit permission.

“Hi, my name’s Paul and we’re connected on LinkedIn.” That’s it. That’s where it ends. You can send me things and share and like and follow and whatever else on LinkedIn or on Facebook or whatever, but don’t add me to your mailing list. And don’t add your prospective customers to your mailing list. It’s a sure-fired guaranteed way to piss people off. Just don’t do it.

So what should we do, then? That’s the question. Well, when I go to local network meetings a very simple formula I have is left and right. It’s as easy as that. When someone says, you know, “I’m interested to talk and chat and we want to catch up and here’s my card,” I grab that and that goes into my right pocket, for example.

The next person says, “Look we could just keep in touch perhaps, catch up one day.” Goes into my left pocket. Now those that I’ve collected who said they want to get together and talk about something, I will contact them immediately or the next day and say, “Let’s set a date. Get together for a coffee, catch up and talk about business.”

For those who said, “Perhaps one day it would be nice just to connect,” I send them an, try that again. I’m not even going to bother editing that out. I’m going to send them an email. Now look, if you’ve never seen any of my videos before, you get used to that. Never mind.

Back on track! Slap.

Okay. I’m going to send them an email and say, “Look, it was nice to meet you. Would you mind if I added you to my weekly newsletter? Here’s what I talk about. Here’s what I do.”

Now I’ll either, depending on the conversations, say, “Would you mind if I added you,” or, “If you get a chance take a look here and perhaps subscribe.” I give them the choice. It just depends on how I feel about the person. But here’s the thing: never, absolutely never, ever, ever will I put a prospective customer, a prospect, into my weekly newsletter list without their explicit permission. They’ve got to sign up themselves on my website or say, “Yes, Paul, that’s okay. No problem. I’d love to receive it.”

Now it is a little different with customers who have purchased from you and have engaged and you have a separate list just for customers, not your newsletter list. Get their permission. But a separate list, these are my customers and I update you with things to do for customers.

Does that make sense? I hope so.

Because that’s my message for today. If people haven’t said absolutely without a shadow of a doubt, “Sure! Please, add me to your list,” don’t do it!

Please! Have a good one.

I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye-bye.