Like many of you I used to go to conferences, networking events and other events and happily pass out my business card. Shortly after which I started seeing email newsletters show up in my inbox. I tried a different tactic. I now hand out custom laptop stickers that have my website, twitter and facebook page but not my email address.
That works better – but not completely. So, out of frustration I started a new blog. It’s not here – it’s over at Tumblr. (http://newslettersofshame.tumblr.com/)
It’s simply called “Newsletters I never signed up for” and is exactly that.
The first question most people are going to ask is WHY? So I put it right on the sidebar.
My name is Mike Mueller
I go to a lot of conferences.
I hand out a lot of biz cards.
My site is pretty popular.
My email is very easy to find.
Not once have I ever said…
"Add me to your List"
"Send me your newsletter"
These are actual newsletters that hit my inbox. I’ve never signed up for any of them. (That’s actually against the law) They say, ignorance is never an excuse.
We can do this better – can’t we?
Once a day I take a screen capture of an unsolicited email newsletter that arrived in my inbox. I’ll try to capture the email header but I’ll make no attempt at blurring or hiding any information.
I also wanted to make this more of learning experience for those that come to the site. I have a 2nd page entitled “Why is this wrong?”.
On that page I point out a few facts people might not realize like…
According to the CAN-SPAM Act each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $16,000! Did that get your attention?
I also realized that most of the unsolicited bulk email (newsletters) come from 3 main email providers, Constant Contact, AWeber, and MailChimp, so I put links to their guidelines or rules right there.
Hey, it’s also just plain rude to add someone to a list without their permission.
Most often I hear, “But there’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom” as an excuse. Sorry but that doesn’t cut it. Unless I specifically asked to placed on a list it’s against the law for you to have put me on that list.
On a side note: I also have a newsletter. I’ve never added anyone to it. If you want on, you have to add yourself. As for me it’s the simplest of things. It’s completely automatic. Each time I write a blog post a newsletter goes out. People can read my blog post in their inbox as they have chosen to do. It’s a pretty simple and perfectly correct way to do it.