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I receive hundreds of emails a day (spam included), and from time to time I review the contents of my inbox and decide that I don’t really want to receive certain newsletters, special offers or updates any longer. Perhaps they are no longer relevant, or I can’t remember why I subscribed in the first place. So, I open the email, search for the Unsubscribe button or link and remove my email from the list. Done. Most marketers are smart about including this link and making it EASY. I admit, I get frustrated when I can’t find a simple way to Unsubscribe and am given the run around, but I try to find contact info somewhere and ask to be removed from the list. I don’t curse and swear and accuse the organization of spamming me (I signed up!)

Mind manners online. While there are thousands of rules for marketers on how to obey proper email etiquette; no spam, permission based and opt-in lists only, I am constantly amazed at how rude and uncivilized some people can be on the internet. I received the email below from someone who could have EASILY unsubscribed themselves. This is not the first of it’s kind, but this person was the boor that broke the camel’s back. Mind you, they willingly joined our professional network and opted to receive email from us.

“I think your mission is, like all spammers, to do as little as possible and con as much loot as possible out of anyone that will respond to your garbage spam. You are spammed, blacklisted and deleted from my inbox. ASSHOLES!”

Bad manners offline.I know it’s easy to get frustrated, but think before you fire off an email like this. Even in the age of SPAM, there’s a chance that a human being will be at the receiving end of your note. I know that responding to a newsletter can make it seem like a non-human will be the target of your wrath, but that is not always the case. This individual has tarnished their brand (for me) and certainly won’t be at the top of my list to do business with or refer to friends or colleagues. I wouldn’t want to work with someone with a temper like this. I’m not an ASSHOLE! I envision this person as one with an attitude similar to the fellow to the right. Charming, no?

Some guidelines
1. Review your email. Yes, you would like a certain action taken. Is this how you would ask if the person were standing in front of you? Are you going to look like a big jerk?
2. Give the offending party a chance to resolve the situation. People make mistakes. You would probably want someone to give you the chance to make things right. Make sure that your grievances are legit.
3. If there is a way that you can get what you need (i.e., removed from a list), do it and save the profanity and complain to someone else.
4. Always go back to the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated.
5. Think about how you would feel if your note showed up on the front page of the morning paper with your name on it.