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why opt-out is a bad approach to building a listViews: 1594
Nov 21, 2005 10:14 pmwhy opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

lisa micklin
This is a true story that happened to me merely minutes ago....

First, what I mean by building a list via opt-out: this is when you just add folks to your list, send a mailing and give them a clear opt-out route.

This is what happened:
I just received 2 different bulk mailings from a colleague of 5 years who's list I did not sign up for. They both had very clear opt-out instructions. So, I opted out as I am very particular about the lists that I want to be on.

Sure as you-know-what, within minutes of opting out, I receive an email from the colleague, the list owner, apologizing for sending the two mailings and for bugging me. She took my opt-out personally. Which then led to me having to send her an email telling her it was nothing personal. ACK!

Moral of the story: Opt-out is not an effective way to build a list. Invite folks to opt-IN and you can avoid all kinds of messy situations like this one. And, don't take it personally if they say "no" to your invitation.

Just thought I'd share, it was kind of amusing,
lisa
~~~~~~~~~~

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Nov 22, 2005 1:27 pmre: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

Denise O'Berry
Lisa --

So true! It annoys the heck out of me for people to use this tactic. And this particular situation put you in a corner you should have never had to be in.

I even removed my email address from my biz cards. Every time I went to a function and exchanged biz cards, I'd end up on one email list or another because people thought I'd love their stuff.

Not. Give me a choice. Let me choose. Invite me to be on your list and don't be offended if I say no. It's not personal, it's business.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
Small Business Expert

Want to squeeze more cash out of your website? It's time you had your very own product. Visit http://www.gotsmallbusiness.com

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Nov 22, 2005 4:10 pmre: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

Nola Cooper
Now you see ladies, I thought that I was the only one who felt this pang of guilt. I'm actually on a few lists right now, because the owner of the list used this exact same tactic, and I was afraid of causing a "rift" in our relationship (by opting out).

Every time I receive a mailing from those lists, I get angry for a second....because I'm reminded that I wasn't given a choice.

I agree with you both...it's a poor practice!

Nola Cooper

Owner/Editor - The Classic Life Magazine
http://www.TheClassicLife.com

Private Reply to Nola Cooper

Nov 22, 2005 4:57 pmre: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

Angela Smith, FreeFuelNationwide.com
Hi Lisa,

If I understand correctly, that you never added yourself to this persons mailing list, then I agree that opt-out is the wrong way to get subscribers.

Gathering a list of friends and people that have contacted you by email or through your web site in the past does not give you the right to place them on a mailing list and then start sending them emails.

But opt-out to the end of all opt-in emails is a requirement in the CANSPAM Act.

So I guess my question is this... is it possible that you may have sent or requested something via email to/from this colleague over the past 5 years that may have been an autoresponder or list that they considered you giving them permission to contact you again?

I agree the only way it should be done is to invite people to join your list on a web page first- get the opt-in, but then always include a way that they can opt-out in each and every email.

As for taking it personally, it's just a bad idea. Sure, on occasion I ask people that unsubscibe if they would share with me WHY, but I never take it personal.

I have way more important things to worry about.

Angela

Private Reply to Angela Smith, FreeFuelNationwide.com

Nov 22, 2005 5:19 pmre: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

lisa micklin
>is it possible that you may have sent or requested something via email to/from this colleague over the past 5 years that may have been an autoresponder or list that they considered you giving them permission to contact you again?

Nope. We were contractors for the same client way back when, our only correspondence had been work related, and we became "friends." We had also met in person on a couple of occasions.

This was definitely a case of "Lisa likes me, she won't mind being on my list."

Which brings up another point. In the old EZezine system we used to let publishers import email addresses. We no longer allow this practice because it assumes a lot of discernment on the part of the publisher. Some of our members have gotten upset that they can no longer add addresses manually. However, most of them "get it" as to why we made this decision across the board. Now, if someone returns from a conference for example, the list owner can use an "invite friends" feature we offer to INVITE the potential subscriber to join the list.

So, Denise, maybe you didn't have to remove your email address from your biz cards, maybe you could just ask the person you're giving the card to if they use EZezine ;-)

best to all,
lisa
~~~~~~~~~~~

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Nov 30, 2005 4:45 amre: re: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

Scott Stratten
Reminds me of the time I was told by someone they signed me up for their newsletter because they signed up for mine and it was a "common courtesy" to do that......

Ummm, nope.

Scott

PS - Hiya Lisa ;-) Long time no talk

Private Reply to Scott Stratten

Dec 23, 2005 1:07 pmre: re: re: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

Alison Boston
Well, I've read this thread and am starting to understand the reasoning behind the opt in. Lisa, you suggested putting an opt-in on my website. I'm not sure I know hows to do that - I am still building my site and still learning how to do everything I want to do and make it look the way I want it to look. Still learning.

Would it be appropriate if in a month's time I send another email to everyone apologising for the automatic add-on to the December mailing and inviting them to opt-in to a regular mailing?

Alison
P.S. I made a mistake when I said my viewers were looking at 2000 plus pages a day - I looked at the stats again last night - (I am still learning how to read and understand those) I don't know where I got that figure from!
I am a newbie, I hope I can be smart.

Private Reply to Alison Boston

Dec 27, 2005 4:26 pmre: re: re: re: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

lisa micklin
> Would it be appropriate if in a month's time I send another email to everyone apologising for the automatic add-on to the December mailing and inviting them to opt-in to a regular mailing?

As someone in your address book, I would find it annoying. I would say, if you're willing to set up a digital subscription form (again, check out http://EZezine.com for a kick-butt reliable free host for this service), send a mailing to only the people who *didn't* opt-out or bounce with your initial mailing and ask them to opt-in. You can find suggested wording for this type of mailer at http://EZezine.com/import.html (scroll down the page a bit.)

hth,
lisa
~~~~~~~~~~~

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Dec 28, 2005 2:59 amre: re: re: re: re: why opt-out is a bad approach to building a list#

Alison Boston
Thanks Lisa

Private Reply to Alison Boston

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