One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make is adding people to their email marketing lists without getting permission first.

It happens all the time. You go to a networking event, you get a few business cards from folks who have expressed some interest in what you offer (or they were just being polite) and you come back to your office and add them to your email marketing list.

Oops!

Big mistake!!

While there is no law (at least in the United States) that requires you to get permission from someone before adding them to your list, it is a common best practice in email marketing to do so. Folks are really quick to call you out as a spammer and they’d be right.

Spam is, after all, ANY unwanted email. Whether you consider yourself to “technically” not be a spammer or not.

(What the law DOES require is that you provide some mechanism so that folks can Opt OUT of your list.)

I personally find it extremely annoying when this happens to me. The last thing I want is more email in my inbox unless I specifically ask for it — and your prospects feel the same way.

As tempting as it may be, just don’t do it. Period.

There will come a time in your follow up process with them that it will be appropriate to ask them to join your list. By then they should know and like you and can decide if they want to get more information from you via your ezine or enewsletter.

They’ll NEVER trust you if you just add them to your list without asking.