“Delete”, “Unsubscribe”, or worse still, “Will you kindly stop sending me your stupid emails”.
Here are just three courses of action available to those of us who have not given permission for the other party to communicate with us!
The universe into which we all communicate these days has a very different set of rules from those that governed our behaviours just a couple of decades ago.
Which results in a Big Fat Hairy Problem: possibly the biggest that we all face when it comes to our marketing, which is this:
There is a fine, but clearly defined line between having a relationship and not having a relationship with somebody, particularly online!
This problem is made worse by the fact that our own perception of the relationship we have often differs from the other party’s perception of the same relationship!
We think we have their permission to send them ‘information’ or ‘education’ about our ‘stuff’, which we think is really valuable and, of course, they are going to be interested and will want us to keep on sending it – when, in fact, the truth is, WE HAVE NO SUCH PERMISSION. WE HAVE TAKEN THEIR PERMISSION FOR GRANTED.
Seth Godin, the ‘marketing guru’, wrote about Permission Marketing more than 10 years ago, and yet most people still DON’T GET IT!
Presumptuous behaviour is arrogant. It’s ‘taking a liberty’, a liberty that hasn’t been granted to us. And worst of all, IT DAMAGES ANY CHANCE WE MIGHT HAVE HAD OF A FRUITFUL RELATIONSHIP BEFORE IT’S EVEN STARTED!
I lost count of the number of times I’ve received a direct message on Twitter from someone I’ve just followed, that says, ‘Let’s meet up on Facebook’. They add a link to their Facebook page and are hoping that I’ll “like” their page when I get to it.
Worst of all, this message is usually automated too, further adding insult to injury.
My response to this kind of arrogance is, ‘No, let’s not meet up on Facebook. In fact, let me unfollow you straight away!’
Harsh? Maybe. But I’m surely not the only one who dislikes this kind of communication!
So what’s the answer?
It’s simple really.
Respect the other party and don’t assume or presume anything.
It’s difficult enough these days making a good impression. We don’t want to make it worse by being ignorant or ignoring basic human nature and good manners.
It’s a bit like being accosted in the street by someone trying to push a flyer into your hand.
Most people – even those politely declining the ‘offer’ – will see this as an intrusion. And because we now live in a culture where we are flooded with even more marketing messages per hour than ever before (my personal #1 hate is the pre-recorded phone call, ‘Did you know you can claim …’ etc.), we need to be even more thoughtful and, dare I say, gracious, if we really want to win hearts and minds to our cause, proposition, offer or philosophy.
And so I’d like to take this opportunity now to apologise to those of you who are just about to Unsubscribe saying that you never gave me your permission – OUCH, that hurt!