Friday, October 4, 2013

Why I Don't Give Out My Email Address

OK, I know that sounds a bit like I'm a snob, but I promise you, it's not the reason I don't give out my email address.

My first set of business cards included my email address and I used to go to different networking events with my friend and there would be lots of other entrepreneurs there.

I would stand around in these circles and watch people interact with other people where they would start a conversation like this:

"Hi, I'm Liz, what's your name?"
"Nice to meet you Nikki. So, what do you do?"

That's a rude way to interact with someone and you think it's appropriate, you're wrong.

The point of their interaction was to find out what you do so they can possibly try to sell you something and then, they ask you for your business card and they end the conversation with you and move on to the next person in the crowd.

After watching this happen a couple of times, I'd actually lie and tell them that I was fresh out of business cards. Now, I don't include my email address on my card. When I got cards with just my name, phone number and web address, people acted like I had broken some unwritten code of what a business card is supposed to look like.

Networking with a business card with your email address on it can lead to 2 possible outcomes.

Either they're going to give you a follow-up call to try and sell you whatever product/service they're selling, even though you expressed no interest in it.

Or, they're going to input your email address into their newsletter system and you're going to start receiving these unsolicited emails from them.

I used to just unsubscribe myself and not say anything about it. Now, thanks to some information from a friend of mine, I've actually elected to reply to their email with a link to an article that explains fully why you shouldn't add strangers to your email list.

Chris Brogan wrote a post some time ago where he had to send an email to someone who had added him without his permission.

Sure, I may seem like a snob for not giving out my email address, but if you're adding people to your email list/newsletter without their permission, it seems like desperation.

Don't be THAT person.