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

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

Jeffrey Pomranka (@pomranka)

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

AFTRSF (@AFTRSF)

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

Helen Chiu (@yesthisishelen)

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Cloud Man :-) (@RomanKluka)

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Lean Startup Machine (@Lean_ATL)

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

El Random Hero (@ElRandomHero)

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

MailChimp (@MailChimp)

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 http://t.co/3qeGmrWw via @sharethis @papernstitch

(@alanarivera) (@alanarivera)

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/tlsv0QZY via @sharethis

(@ersimarina) (@ersimarina)

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

Jeanee Duval (@urdirtylaundry)

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

Horoscopa (@Horoscopa)

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

aurorareyes (@aurorareyes)

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

(@papernstitch) (@papernstitch)

“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

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

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)

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

(@papernstitch) (@papernstitch)
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