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When does “opt-in” mean “free to shill”?

Posted by Colleen Wainwright on

Ilise and I have been hammering away at the presentation she’s giving (and I’m ably assisting with giving, I hope!) at the Creative Freelancer Conference in Chicago on August 28.

It’s really, really fun working on it, and at the risk of bringing doom down upon myself, I think it’s really going to rock, the combination of our different but complementary skill sets and presentation styles, even without the excessive cursing I’m usually given to, but have sworn off for the duration.

It’s also been eye-opening in a lot of ways: combing through examples from my files, both physical and electronic, to see what sticks and what doesn’t, what shines and what feels kind of lame upon closer examination. For sure, I’ll be making some major adjustments to my own sites once I get back and things calm down a little.

But I came across one example of egregious fouling-up from a usually astute self-promoter (and someone very, very good at his chosen profession, which is marketing-related), so I thought I’d throw it out there in advance of the presentation, to get some real-time feedback: when someone opts-in to your list, what’s the first thing you send? I don’t know, but had better not be an ad for yourself!

I know what happened, because I know how some email marketing programs are set up: to send out the very next missive in the pipeline. I’ll make a humble suggestion, though: when you set up your program, make the first thing a "goodie", not a "me! me!" I was so disgusted that the first communication I got from this incredibly talented person was a pitch for an upcoming workshop, I almost unsubbed on the spot.

Am I nuts, here? Is it out of line to think someone should earn my trust a bit before trying to sell me something?

What do you do with your list? And what would you do if you’d gotten a Big Fat Ad as your first email from a signup?

  • More in: Connecting, Posts by Colleen, Web Marketing

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