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Where do you draw the line and decide what is honest to goodness marketing and networking, and what is invasive, obnoxious and sleazy SPAM?

It’s a hard call.

I get lots of email from people I know damn well  I’ve never opted in to their email list. Plus they even use a respected email service that claims to be spam free and still my in box is stuffed full with unrequested messaging and junk. I’m starting to question how spam free they are. I’ve used company for several years called Feedblitz. In fact, I just became an affiliate last week. This means if you sign up for their service, Oddpodz will make a commission. However, my recommendations are always based on my experience with the company, the small are a bonus 😉 Whatever service you use, do your homework, because switching providers often requires having your community re-opt in and you can loose some long time followers.

Back to Feedblitz, I was attracted to their service because your blog is the feed/content for your email. I’ve learned many people still prefer mail over RSS feed. They do a good job, and don’t tolerate list dumping or spamming. And if you have an issue you get to speak to real person.

I often wonder, did this happen because of  some business group I joined and they sold their list, or did this company get my biz card and randomly add me to their email pool or did they buy my name from a list broker,  in any case, 99% of the time I’m annoyed because fundamentally I hate spam and any relative or form of it makes me cranky.

The other side of the coin. As a business owner who is trying to build a market of followers and customers, I’ve considered buying lists. I understand the math behind if you reach out to 10,000 people and offer something of value, 5% may join in your party. Is that a bad thing?

Can you say direct mail? Since I’ve been on this planet, I’ve been introduced to many a worthy businesses and products via an ice cold piece of direct mail.  I know my name was purchased some where down the line in the marketing and capitalism world of business promotion. And I’m cool with that. I know I can also choose to chunk the uninvited mail into the trash at any moment.

Here’s my take on the subject of uninvited, no permission email marketing.

Buying an email or snail mail list is OK if you reach out with a valuable offer, one or two times.  And as  long as you provide an easy, clear way to opt-out at any point.

If you don’t provide the opt-out option and you Ignore the recipients request to stop receiving your stuff, then you deserve to get the worst computer virus ever and get struck by lightening too.

Be honest with the people you reach out to. Don’t tell them they signed up, if they didn’t. That just adds to making the world feel crazy, when they may not have lost their mind yet.

Love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

  1. Have you purchased lists? Where?
  2. Did you get a good return?
  3. What email service to you use?
  4. Where is the best place to report spammers?
  5. Are you still using snail mail?