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Yeah… don’t do that

Never add someone to a mailing list without giving them a heads up that you’re doing it. It’s just uncool and rude. For example, I have been contacting some vendors about some work we need done. One of them has yet to answer my inquiry, but has already added me to their newsletter. Even worse, I had no idea submitting a form asking about their services would get me on their mailing list.

In this case, it’s more than rude, as they are a European company and didn’t ask permission to send my personal data to Mailchimp it’s a GDPR violation. In fact, there’s no notice on their

It’s clear they’ve put some thought and effort into their email program. The newsletter arrived in my inbox just a few hours after I submitted my request. The charitable part of me says it’s all automated and it’s not intended to be annoying. But the sole call to action on the bulk email is “contact us to hear more about our services” and… that’s exactly what I did.

I contacted them about their services and they responded with an email encouraging me to contact them about their services. As an email professional I get how and why this happens. As a consumer, I’m deeply annoyed and it’s a frustrating consumer experience.

When you’re going to add someone to a newsletter tell them you’re going to do it. Ideally give them a choice. It’s 2019, this isn’t rocket science. This isn’t some new fangled requirement. Permission is a best practice.

1 comment

  1. Mathieu says

    Hi Laura,
    the issue here, one I think anyone who works deliverability is confronted with on a daily basis, is the incredible inertia of most businesses regarding email.
    When you say “it’s 2019, you should do better” I totally agree with you. Problem is that to do better they have to know better, the underlying issue is one of education/training. Most people we face, the ones in charge of email programs, have had no training or education in this field. When they did, in school or during their career, it’s usually been just a couple of days (if that!).
    Sure, you can overcome that by researching and learning about this “on the side”: you can find a lot of very good webpages or webinars about email programs. Problem is you can also find a lot (a huge lot) of very poor content, including advices dating back to ten or fifteen years ago that are completly obsolete but still find their place in content being produced as I’m writing that message. That always amazes me: we know email, when done right, is a huge income source for most companies. We know email program managers are key in making it a successful part of the business. But most of the time they received no training and still use decade old recipes that have become at best useless, at worst dangerous.
    I’ve been working deliverability for 6+ years now, and the pas experience that has been the most helpful to me is as a museum guide/teacher: what people running email programs need most is education and methodology.

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