To Send or Not to Send?

Automated DM’s & Newsletters… It’s like the old adage for Marmite – people either love it or hate it. Well, not exactly love it – unbothered by it. If there’s no interest, hit “unsubscribe” or “unfollow” – select, delete – move on.

It’s the same with canvassing/leafleting – I have friends who hate junk mail with a passion and have plaques on their front doors to attest the fact – and friends that just bin it.

Automated Twitter DM’s are also annoying for some – they will instantly hit “unfollow ” when they receive it.

I’ve worked with people whose blood would boil when receiving spam email – they saw it as a real invasion of their privacy.

There are also many posts on LinkedIn where people take severe umbrage to receiving newsletters from their connections.

On the other side of the coin, there are those who are sending newsletters and taking offence when they are blocked, unsubscribed or reported as spam.

Fact is – sending newsletters without the consent of the recipient is illegal.

Yet people still do it. Why? If it’s going to annoy and upset your connections and potentially threaten your reputation, why do it?

As a small business owner, I have toyed with the idea of a newsletter. I personally believe that it’s far better (and a more wholesome approach) to establish working relationships face to face. However, networking to build those relationships can take time. Though for some, as time ticks by and the funds run low, they question whether starting a business was the right decision – without enough money or clients they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. And therein lies a reason why many small start-up business owners and entrepreneurs send newsletters.

There are, of course, those that don’t even consider the offence they may cause and send them regardless of money/time constraints.

In amongst the spam of unsolicited messages from large (and many evil!) corporations, online retailers and unwanted subscriptions, etc., often lies a newsletter from someone who isn’t malicious. They realise what they’re doing may upset or offend some people but, they’re at a loss and they also don’t know how else to market themselves. They just want to introduce themselves and offer their services with the hope that maybe you, or someone you know will be able to help them as much as they genuinely want to help you. They just want to make that initial connection in the hope that they can then progress to something more personal. For them it’s a double-edged sword – they still believe in themselves and what they have to offer – it’s a risk they’ll take and hope for the best.

As with most things, it’s never as clear-cut as it may seem sometimes. There’s absolutely no desire to offend, just the hope for some success.

Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.

Jim McMahon

About the Author Peggy Moseley

★ Creative Virtual PA specialising in PowerPoint Design & Word Formatting ★

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