You, Inc. Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not SPAM

As we’ve discussed in several other You Inc. commandments, to effectively build You, Inc. you want to develop relationships with individuals who will come to know, like and trust you.

When someone gives you consent to send them email, they are opening their home to you just a little.  Even more so if they give you their phone number. This is an invitation for you to prove to them that you are worthy of their trust and their valuable time.

What you don’t want to do is complete obliterate that trust by SPAMming them.

So, how can you ensure that what you’re sending to your list isn’t classified as SPAM?

First let’s talk about the definition of SPAM (and I’m not talking about the sketchy meat in a can!)

Spam is an unsolicited bulk message sent out indiscriminately to a large number of people, typically through electronic media.  There are many other definitions, but what most people in our industry think of when you say “Spam” is sending an unsolicited message to someone, and its typically about a business opportunity or product or service.

For example:

  • Posting a video on a person’s Facebook wall talking about your business opportunity.
  • Sending an email (through regular email, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) promoting your business opportunity.
  • Responding to an email you received by opting into someone’s list, and pitching your business opportunity.
  • Filling out a “Contact Me” form on a blog and pitching your business opportunity.
  • Setting up your email to have an autoreply message that pitches your business opportunity.

A brief etiquette lesson on being a gracious subscriber…

Generally, if you have signed up on a person’s subscriber list, when they send you emails, it isn’t technically SPAM because you gave your consent to receive information from that individual.

(There is an important exception to this general rule, which I’ll discuss later).

So, if at some point you decide that you no longer want to receive that person’s messages (either because you don’t have time to read their messages, or you aren’t interested in receiving that kind of information anymore) then simply unsubscribe from their list.

The unsubscribe link it typically at the very bottom of the email.

Don’t click the SPAM button on your email!

Autoresponder providers log this information and it is very disrespectful to your fellow entrepreneurs to cause them to have a negative mark on their “record” with their autoresponder provider just because you’re too lazy to click unsubscribe.

That said, if they don’t have an unsubscribe link then click “SPAM” all you want because every reputable marketer should have an easy method for their subscribers to “unsubscribe” from their list.  (Some may disagree with me on this point, but this is just my opinion).

Etiquette lesson over…

The Exception

So, I mentioned that there is an important exception to the rule that if you “opted-in” to someone’s list it can’t be SPAM.

The exception is where you signed up, for example, for cooking tips and the individual starts sending you information about getting prescription drugs for a low cost.

If someone opts-in to your list, you must always be mindful of what you promised them that they would receive as a subscriber to your list.

Never abuse the bounds of the permission your received. 

Because like I said, when someone opts-in to your list, this is an opening for you to earn people’s trust.  If you send them information that is totally unrelated to the information they requested, you can lose the trust that they initially gave you in the blink of an eye.

With that said, this does not mean that you never should sell to your list.

You absolutely should.  You must be considerate of the permission granted to you by your subscriber.

Try to maintain an 80/20 rule at the very least.

80% of your emails should be filled with valuable content and promote only 20% of the time.

If you’re providing value 80% of the time, people are not going to be upset with you when you do promote things from time-to-time.

SPAMming Will Destroy You, Inc.

A big part of building You, Inc. successful is developing a reputation as a leader and an expert in your field.  If you are SPAMming people’s Facebook walls, email inboxes, YouTube channels, etc., you look desperate.


I know that was harsh, but it’s true.

People don’t have any interest in following and learning from desperate people.

In addition to looking desperate, you look completely unprofessional.

When you’re trying to build a savvy business online, the last thing that you want people thinking about you is that you’re unprofessional.

To sum it all up…

SPAMming your business opportunity, product or service is simply not an effective marketing strategy.  It does not matter how great your comp plan is, how many studies have been conducted on your super juice, or if you’re literally selling water from the fountain of youth.

To successfully build You, Inc., you want to build rapport with the visitors to your website and the susbcribers on their list.  You want to show your authentic and best self.

When you SPAM, you are not putting your best foot forward.  You’re repelling people away from you and your business.

In my new course, “The Beginner’s Guide to Building You, Inc.” I will be sharing even more information about how to keep from appearing as a SPAMmer and I’ll discuss some of the important laws that govern commercial email, like the CAN-SPAM Act.

Stay tuned for Commandment #8: Thou shalt not leave money on the table

Like this article?  Share your comments below! If you think someone can benefit from this information, please share it!

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5 Responses to “You, Inc. Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not SPAM”

  1. Candice Michelle Says:

    In terms of branding in the Internet marketplace, spamming does not contribute something good to make the brand image of an online business positive. Spamming only makes the brand image of an online business negative. Regardless if there is rule that people should not spam or not, it should be an innate responsibility of everyone online to avoid spam.
    Candice Michelle recently posted..simple animation software

  2. Edwin Arenas - Multinivel en Internet Says:

    Hi Natasha,

    When you get spam from one of your contacts, you can use this as an opportunity to educate the people.

    I reply to all the emails I get promoting business opportunities and tell them that they should not send unsolicited emails, they should use an autorresponder to create a list where the people opt-in and have the chance to unsubscribe.

    I have recive good feedback of the people I reply to. Many people were not aware that they shouldn’t send unsolicited email and didn’t even know that in some countries it is illegal.
    Edwin Arenas – Multinivel en Internet recently posted..52 Tareas Para Llevar mi Negocio Multinivel a Internet: #3 Interactuar con mis Fans en Facebook

  3. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Hi Edwin! You know, I used to do that, but now I simply no longer have time to do this. I got mixed reviews- some people were grateful for the advice, others were not pleased because they thought that what they were doing (Spamming) WAS marketing and they refused to hear another perspective.

    My suggestion? Always keep in mind that you should be spending your time on the highest income producing activity. If these folks that you write to end up becoming customers, great. But if not, consider writing posts (or send out an autoresponder message) about the hazards of SPAM so that even more people can benefit from your insight, and not just that one person who Spammed you.

  4. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Candice, I totally agree with you.

    When you SPAM, you are demolishing your brand.

    I agree that everyone should avoid Spamming. Unfortunately, new marketers typically resort to these tactics until they learn legitimate marketing techniques. Many beginners are very apologetic (and even embarrassed) for their “spamming escapades, but it’s all part of the learning process, right?

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..How to Survive Marketing Mishaps

  5. Candice Michelle Says:

    @Natasha Nassar, It is really part of the learning process. There’s no doubt about that. But it would certainly be much better if they will learn from the mistakes of others rather than from their own mistakes. Spamming is critical issue. I’m afraid that if new marketers will do this, their online brand image will be destroyed before they will even know it. And by the time that it happens, people online will no longer trust them.
    Candice Michelle recently posted..Baby Eagle

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