I Received Someone’s Business Card. Should I add them to My mailing list? – The Netiquette of Email Marketing.

Attending networking events and speaking engagements I meet a lot of people with whom I exchange my business card. An interesting situation occurred this week that brought something to my attention. Is receiving a business card the same as getting someone’s permission to be added to your mailing list….? Probably not.

A colleague was gracious enough to inform me that someone with whom I’ve never done business or even met was disgruntled with my company. She had mistakenly thought I had met her at a previous event and added her email to our company’s mailing list without her permission.

In this day of social media, this probably occurs more than we consider. Here are a few Rules of Netiquette that you should adhere to before adding that new business contact into your email database.

1. Don’t put someone on the spot when you receive their business card by telling them you’ll be adding them to your newsletter list. You still need to develop a relationship and build trust. They will appreciate the gesture. Remember, social media marketing is about building and nurturing relationships.

2. Do get their permission before sending a sales email or newsletter. It’s clear that not everyone that hands you their business card is interested in receiving your email.

3. Don’t post your sales offer or business opportunities directly on someone’s Facebook wall. In turn, don’t allow businesses that you don’t personally endorse post on your Facebook. You need to protect your friends on Facebook. With someone else’s product prominently placed on your wall, it creates a false endorsement and is a netiquette no-no.

4. Do make sure you have an opportunity for someone to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

5. Don’t send an unsolicited tweet to someone you don’t know with an affiliate link to purchase your product or service.

6. Do send a personal message along with a Connection request on Linkedin or a Friends request on Facebook. Personalization goes a long way.

7. Do remember, SPAM is a four-letter word, so keep it out of your vocabulary both online and offline.

If someone truly shows an interest in your business, then by all means do let him or her know you have a newsletter in case they want more information. Give them the professional courtesy of deciding if they want more details on your products or services.


There are 3 comments
  1. Avatar

    These are great tips Angel. One thing I would add is that if you receive someone’s business card at an event, send a personal email to them shortly after the event to thank them for their time at the event or solidify the beginning of the relationship in some way. It’s okay in that email to mention you have a newsletter and if they’re interested in receiving it to let you know or provide a link to where they can opt in.

  2. Avatar

    Thanks Chrystal. I appreciate the input and the reminder. We all get so busy and sometimes forget that we need to be mindful about building and nurturing those personal connections.

  3. Best Practices for Unsubscribing to Unwanted Email Lists | Puzzle Pieces Marketing Blog

    […] a follow up to our April 28 post, I Received Someone’s Business Card. Should I add them to My mailing list? – The Netiquette of Em… several of you  bought up an interesting point and raised the question “What should you do […]

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