How NOT to grow your mailing list

This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore.

There are a million resources out there written about how to grow your mailing list — contests, giveaways, promotions. All of these are great, and having an effective newsletter campaign can do wonders for your business.

The flip side that you don’t often hear about is how NOT to grow your newsletter list, but this is just as important in terms of fostering good relationships as what you do to grow it.

The #1 rule of how NOT to grow your list:

adding people who haven’t expressed direct interest in being added.

Meeting someone at a conference who says they like your jewelry or are curious about what you’re working on is not reason to take the liberty of adding them to your list. Neither is sitting next to someone at a dinner party or wanting to get the attention of an influential blogger.

In fact, there is no quicker way to sour a relationship than to effectively spam someone who already has more than enough email to handle.

It is bad form, it is rude, and it’s likely illegal. Don’t be that person. Your efforts are better spent reaching out to the people who actively want to hear from you, who have already given you money, and who have expressed major interest in the work you do.

Subscriber numbers are meaningless without the engagement of your audience.

An alternative is to send an email to the people you would normally add, saying something along the lines of:

Dear (lovely person I met/blogger/friend of a friend),

 

It was great meeting you recently at (conference/friend’s home/grocery store) and I wanted to follow up with you since you had expressed interest in my (shop/art/product).

 

I have a newsletter that I send out on a (weekly/monthly/regular) basis to announce new products and keep folks updated on what’s going on. You can sign up here if you’re interested: provide link.

 

Again, it was great meeting you!

 

Thanks,

Your Name Here
(link to shop)

A succinct, lovely email always goes farther. Always.

Tiffany Moore, co-founder of Teahouse Studio is a life and business coach. She helps creatives take their business (and LIVES) to the next level with her sparkly and sassy coaching and thinks that everyone in the world is beautiful, including you.

47 comments | Click here to reply

How NOT to grow your mailing list: This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore. There… http://t.co/OTqs5ICG

(@papernstitch) (@papernstitch)

RT @papernstitch: How NOT to grow your mailing list: This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore. There… http://t.co/OTqs5ICG

GroupTalk (@Group_Talk)

I couldn’t agree more! I have been added to SO many lists this way and I am always a little perturbed. I only add people who physically sign up for a list {at a show/event}. Otherwise, I let people sign up themselves…if they want to do so.

Gina_AcuteDesigns

“I only add people who physically sign up for a list {at a show/event}. Otherwise, I let people sign up themselves…if they want to do so.” Yep, that’s a good way to do it Gina. I have been signed for many an email newsletter that I did not request to sign up for and I immediately unsubscribe + get a little bit of a sour taste in mouth. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.
-Brittni

papernstitch

trying to grow your email list? here’s what NOT to do http://t.co/6lFTLHTt

(@papernstitch) (@papernstitch)

RT @papernstitch: trying to grow your email list? here’s what NOT to do http://t.co/6lFTLHTt

aurorareyes (@aurorareyes)

RT @papernstitch: trying to grow your email list? here’s what NOT to do http://t.co/6lFTLHTt

Lisandra (@lisandra_co)

RT @papernstitch: trying to grow your email list? here’s what NOT to do http://t.co/6lFTLHTt

Horoscopa (@Horoscopa)

AWESOME ADVICE! >> How NOT to grow your mailing list >> http://t.co/WR1UC3Lp >> via @papernstitch

Jeanee Duval (@urdirtylaundry)

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/tlsv0QZY via @sharethis

(@ersimarina) (@ersimarina)

This is certain good advice — thank you for sharing, both Tiffany and Brittni!

Emily Reiter @ anna delores

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/3qeGmrWw via @sharethis @papernstitch

(@alanarivera) (@alanarivera)

Something to be thoughtful about “Subscriber numbers are meaningless without the engagement of your audience.” http://t.co/6tiybfnf

(@MakeShopLive) (@MakeShopLive)

How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

MailChimp (@MailChimp)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

El Random Hero (@ElRandomHero)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

Lean Startup Machine (@Lean_ATL)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

Cloud Man :-) (@RomanKluka)

“Subscriber numbers are meaningless without the engagement of your audience.” via @MailChimp http://t.co/rfg5o489”

Helen Chiu (@yesthisishelen)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

AFTRSF (@AFTRSF)

“@MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/D88e8P1D” <– Just happened to me.

Jeffrey Pomranka (@pomranka)

SPAM-A-NOT! >>> How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/7sQiw1k9

(@MeetJNewell) (@MeetJNewell)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

Christian Rojas (@christianrojas)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

Austin Keith (@austinkeith)

Agreed! Good approach @ end after a conf.”@MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list. http://t.co/uo7tkMxm” #fundraising #nonprofitorgs

Brendan Noone (@b12pm)

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

Blackout Dance (@Blackout__Dance)

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/61Xn0ytf via @sharethis

Jenifer Sako (@jensako)

Good article on how NOT to grow your #mailing list http://t.co/Nr5ZGuTz #online #web #presence

Ruckus Media (@ruckus_media)

Must read for networkers! http://t.co/3UCCBKSK

Working Women (@WorkingWomenCF)

Good morning CWWP members! Check out this article, it is a great way to keep out of trouble with mailing lists…. http://t.co/fPe9rqsS

Central WI Wedding (@CNTRWIWedding)

How NOT to grown your mailing list, good advice! http://t.co/VLkxoFpv

Mak McKeehan (@3rdidea)

Got a newsletter? You should read this – it’s really important! http://t.co/1Rr9LXfA

Carina - Polka&Bloom (@carinaeh)

RT @carinaeh: Got a newsletter? You should read this – it’s really important! http://t.co/1Rr9LXfA

Embroidery Auction (@EmbAuction)

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/3Y9e5D7W przez @sharethis

Monika Loryńska (@MonikaLorynska)

I know I mentioned this already this week, but I feel very passionately about this. http://t.co/gb6d86oX

Jaime Murphy (@Sparkpreneurs)

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/LIShcWXI vía @sharethis

gustavo luis calleja (@defcongus)

Here is a great little article I found on “how not to grow your mailing list”. Worth a read. http://t.co/8LbgDtSN

Michael Scruse (@michaelscruse)

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/7OgWPKbG #emailmarketing

Jonathan Baldovino (@jbaldovino)

RT @jbaldovino: How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/7OgWPKbG #emailmarketing

Grupo S&N (@desecretarias)

I couldn’t agree more!! In fact I don’t have a mailing list, because I hate to much mail and I presume other people hate it too. I think everyone interested will find out more about my work through fb or blog.

Kristina

How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/xwVhn3DI

aukabusinessservices (@aukabusiness)

Please take a look at our collection of handmade flowers in the facebook page
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chibhee

RT @MailChimp: How NOT to grow your mailing list | papernstitch http://t.co/fzJOA8Mc

EdOpp Solutions (@EdOppSolutions)

How NOT to grow your mailing list http://t.co/ZpHHqS1f A very perfect, very succinct article. #emailMarketing

Hello World Web (@HelloWorldWeb)

Do you have a mailing list? Learn from the best and follow these cardinal rules on how NOT to grow that list: http://t.co/KzIXASNd

Radius Online (@radiusonline)

Do you have a mailing list? Learn from the best and follow these cardinal rules on how NOT to grow that list: http://t.co/fDpZfYl8

Vu Hoang (@carcareconnect)

@liv_lane yay! And yes, one of my biggest pet peeves. I wrote about it on @papernstitch a while back! http://t.co/H4AGuOyS

Tiffany Han (@thetiffanyhan)

From the @papernstitch archives: How NOT to Grow your Mailing List. http://t.co/H4AGuOyS Because I think it’s worth talking about again!

Tiffany Han (@thetiffanyhan)
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