6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Automatically Add People to Your Email List
I thought everyone knew they shouldn't do this by now, but just last week, someone automatically added me to their email list without asking me first.
No opt-in, no ask, just an unsolicited newsletter sitting in my inbox. It's rude, crude, and just plain un-cool, dude.
The keys to emailing your list are to add value, be relevant, and connect on a human level. Some studies show that over 80% of all email sent is spam and it’s your goal to get your emails read.
Email is a great way to communicate with people. Even though my coaching and mastermind clients often use Facebook Messenger to send me quick notes, we still primarily use email to communicate.
So, when I got a newsletter in my inbox from someone I met at Podcast Movement and whom I had just emailed, I was kinda shocked. I shouldn't have been, but I seriously thought online marketers had realized how bad of a strategy this was.
Adding people to your email list who have not opted in is bad form, bad etiquette and will ultimately come back to do more harm than good. (Tweet that!)
6 Reasons You Shouldn't Automatically Add People to Your Email List
I think illegal might be too strong of a word, but it makes the point. It's basically illegal to automatically add people to your email list without them giving you permission to do so.
Possible “Spam” Complaints
When I got the newsletter, I could have reported it as spam. It would have been well within my right to do so. But, I wanted to be nice, so I didn't.
Most reputable email service providers, like ActiveCampaign and the email providers I reviewed here, track spam complaints very closely. Get more than two spam complaints per thousand emails and they can suspend your account and/or put it under investigation.
Why put your email account at risk for someone who doesn't want your emails or newsletter anyway?
Unsubscribes Hurt Email Deliverability
Though I didn't file a spam complaint, I did unsubscribe immediately. If your unsubscribe rate is too high, the chances of your emails hitting the inbox of other subscribers is impacted.
About 66% of my subscribers use Gmail. If enough of them start flagging my emails as spam, Google will start to notice (ISPs are smart that way) and start putting more and more of my emails into the spam folder instead of the inbox.
That kind of stuff hurts you, and it hurts other marketers. Don't automatically add people to your email list.
Falsely Boosting List Size
No one really cares how big your email list is. While list size is the internet marketing version of a dick measuring contest, it's largely irrelevant.
What matters is your ability to get the people on your list to take action. Whether you have 10 or 10,000 on your email list, if you can't get anyone to open, read and click your emails, you're doing something wrong.
List size is a bragging point. It is a relatively objective way to show your importance. Showing 99,123 subscribers is also a form of social proof.
Don't get me wrong, these are not BAD things, but they're all secondary to having an active group of people who look forward to reading what you have to say.
It Annoys People
Though it's rarer than in years past, not a month goes by that I don't see someone complaining about being automatically added to someone's email list.
When this girl's newsletter popped up in my inbox, my first reaction was, “Wow, that still happens?!” My second reaction was, “Wow, that's annoying.” My third reaction was to report the email as spam, but I refrained and chose to unsubscribe instead.
Don't automatically add people to your email list, and don't be annoying.
There Are Better Ways
If you want to build your email list, Chapter 27 of Exit Strategy is all about techniques you can use to grow your email list.
People opt-in because they want to feel included, and they're afraid of missing out. They subscribe because they believe you can shorten their learning curve, reduce their startup time, provide them with discounts or coupons, or other items of exclusive value. Visitors want you to help them eliminate their pain, and they're willing to trade their email address for it. If you can help your audience add more tools to their tool belt or make their life easier, they'll subscribe to your list.
From checklists to ebooks to guides to exclusive content upgrades, there are too many ways to build a quality email list to have to automatically add people to your email list who don't want to be there.
List building techniques are something we cover in my coaching and mastermind programs. If growing your list and build a business is your goal, you should consider working with me and joining the community!