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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are You A Spammer and Don’t Know It? | BEING THERE WHEN IT COUNTS

Rick Itzkowich
Being There When It Counts with Rick Itzkowich

According to Spamhaus, one of the leading anti-spam block lists, here’s the definition of spam:

“An electronic message is ‘spam’ if: (a) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; AND (b) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.”

I engage in a substantial amount of networking. As a result, I exchange a lot of business cards. Unfortunately, many of the people I meet treat this exchange as permission for them to send me information about their business and/or projects.

On any given day, I receive between five to 10 email newsletters from people and companies that I have neither done business with, nor have I requested their newsletters. Most of the time, I simply delete them or create a spam filter so they automatically bypass my inbox.

Recently I did a presentation on “Effective Follow-up Strategies,” and I used unauthorized email newsletters to illustrate an example of an ineffective strategy. I got lively feedback from people in the audience, who mentioned they themselves were guilty of doing the same. Until now, they had never viewed their e-mailings from this perspective.

When I got back to my office, I decided to see if I could turn “spam lemons into tasty lemonade.” After all, I have a product (QuoteActions) that’s designed to have people want to hear from a person and/or business. As an experiment, with each unsolicited email, I responded with the following message:

“I can't remember where or how we met. However, I'm quite certain that I have neither purchased something from you, nor have I specifically opted in to receive your newsletter. According to a leading anti-spam blocking list, only when either of the above conditions are met, can you send messages and be in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. By the way, you may incur substantial fines for doing this.

My purpose in responding to you is to offer you a permission-based alternative to stay in touch with people. My “by invitation only” product prevents creating ill will with folks who never requested your materials. If you’re interested in discussing, feel free to contact me.”

Not surprisingly, I’ve received very few responses to my comments—which, by the way, is another major email faux pas. If someone takes the time to respond to you, you have started a conversation. Please continue it. Getting back to the responses to my return message, there have been a few interesting replies. One person was very defensive and told me I had given her my verbal okay during a networking event. A few people responded with interest in my product, and that was cool. Indeed I had turned spam into a lead generator! There was also one person who responded with: “What’s the big deal? If you don’t like my information, simply hit delete or unsubscribe.”

Unfortunately, this response is typical of people who fail to see the situation from the recipient’s point of view. This is why people get angry with unsolicited mailings. The point is--even if it only takes a few seconds to delete or unsubscribe, I still have to spend my time on something I didn’t request. Plus, when you multiply this action tens or hundreds of times, the wasted time quickly adds up.

In addition I often travel abroad, and when I’m checking my email I’m doing so over slow and expensive Internet connections. Having to wade through hundreds of these types of messages can end up costing a significant amount of both time and money.

The bottom line is that the cost of sending unsolicited email newsletters and other bulk messages is a high one. You lose goodwill and damage your reputation. You will be seen as a spammer--which unfortunately you are.

Next month I will cover my alternative strategy to staying in touch with people in a way that’s 100% permission-based and is also very effective to boot.

This month's QuoteAction is by Professor, Dr. Rob Gilbert

"Stop selling and start helping instead."

Your action is to contact a friend or business associate and offer them your help.

Enjoy an Extraordinary Month!

Click *here* to find out more about QuoteActions and some of the other innovative products and services offered by THE NATIONAL NETWORKER.

Rick Itzkowich
The LinkedIn Guy

As the creator of
QuoteActions, a unique relationship building system, Rick Itzkowich finds his articles, podcasts and blog messages regarding keeping your brand "top of mind" in high demand.

His, latest product
Link Power Coaching Program, is a must for those people wanting to earn money using LinkedIn.

Rick is also the Co-founder of
Productive Learning & Leisure, a personal development training company for corporations and individuals.
Rick can be reached at

For more information, please visit Rick's TNNWC Bio.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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