When in Doubt, just opt out. Do you know what marking someone as spam does to their business? Think about that for a minute. We meet people all the time while we are out and connect with them. As a speaker I often have a free giveaway where people can opt into my newsletter and receive the free giveaway or I may have a booth at an event where I’m doing a giveaway and they drop their card into my basket to receive it. The giveaway comes in my newsletter. People can visit my website to opt into my newsletter and get a free giveaway or if I am talking to someone I just ask if I can add them to my newsletter.
When I send out my newsletter and get someone to report it as spam I take that very seriously because I hate being spammed myself and don’t do that to people. Now, I’m not going to say it never happens that somehow a card got into my add pile by accident but it is rare if ever. I write a note on business cards when I talk to people that they are ok to add to the newsletter. I ask to make sure it’s ok.
Unfortunately for me since I have become certified as a Veteran Owned and Woman Owned Small Business, have a DUNS number and am registered in the government SAM (System for Award Management) system, that seems to have made my information public and I get dozens of spam emails from companies that want me to pay them to get certified or some other thing that I don’t need. I’m not sure how they can get away with that as I’m sure they must get marked as spam often. Those are obviously valid companies to report as spam. They never met me anywhere and I didn’t opt into their site.
Spam is overwhelming to say the least. We get too many emails as it is and while I enjoy getting newsletters from some people, I can’t possibly read them all or I would never have any time to get my work done.
Before you hit that spam option as you are opting out, consider how that will affect the person you are marking as spam and decide whether a simple opt out would be sufficient. Do they really deserve that spam hit? Here are the policies of 3 of the email systems out there, 2 I use and one I may use one day (or maybe not…).
Constant Contact – Constant Contact has a no tolerance spam policy. Constant Contact’s customer support actively monitors large import lists and emails going to a large number of subscribers. Any customer found to be using Constant Contact for spam will be immediately cut-off from use of the product.
Infusionsoft – Infusionsoft maintains a strict zero tolerance policy with spammers and those who use poor email marketing practices. If you violate industry anti-SPAM regulations, you put yourself at risk of account termination. Blatant spamming and disregard for permission-based email marketing standards will lead to immediate termination. The following issues will lead you down the path to losing your Infusionsoft account.
High SPAM Complaint Rates: The industry standard for an acceptable complaint rate is .1%. That means, for every 1,000 emails you send, one person can mark your message as SPAM. If your complaint rates exceed this limit, but there is no evidence of blatant spamming practices, Infusionsoft will issue you a strike. Excessively high complaint rates (greater than 1%) may be cause to terminate your account immediately and without warning.
One Shopping Cart – 1Shoppingcart.com strictly forbids the use of our service in unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or SPAM campaigns. We maintain a Zero-Tolerance policy against SPAM, be it direct, third party or any affiliate or similar agent acting on the account holder’s behalf.
Any user found to be involved in a SPAM/UCE campaign, involving the services provided by 1Shoppingcart.com in any capacity, including flooding newsgroups, distributing messages to recipients that have not specifically requested the information, or any other abuse of our system contravening CAN SPAM UCE legislation will be met as follows
As you can see the consequences for spam are pretty serious. A business owner could lose their entire account, be fined or severely penalized for not that big of an infraction. (1 out of 1,000 emails? I just sent an email to 2,000 plus and got a spam hit, that means if I used Infusionsoft that would be a strike against my account – wow!) I don’t think people consider this when they hit the spam button.
Those of us who use eNewsletters as a marketing or connection tool are all in business to build our community and I think for the most part everyone that I know just wants to be successful in business. I’m sure there are those who want to harvest as many contacts as they can get but for me I just want to connect and help those who want my information. I want to be able to help people be better negotiators and better versions of who they are. I want to feel good about the info that I send out and I want those who receive it to enjoy the content.
The bottom line is to consider what you are doing to the person who you marked as spam. Is it really what you need to do to send a message to them? Maybe they deserve it but again maybe they don’t. Perhaps just entering something in the feedback as you opt out would be more prudent. I can only speak for myself and say that I take spam very seriously and don’t add anyone in that hasn’t given me permission. Keep that in mind the next time you opt out of that newsletter that pops into your inbox. There is a real person on the other side you could be affecting.
If in doubt, just opt out.
To Your Success