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I have a confession – I really do not enjoy going to live networking events and having to mingle with a bunch of strangers. I get this knot in my stomach when it comes to discussing what I do and making small talk, not to mention a bit of unease at approaching strangers for conversation.
Do you ever feel that way?
This month I had the opportunity to speak at Peggy McColl’s Author event in Sarasota and then, at the Wedding Event Suppliers of Ottawa event here at home. In talking to these two groups, I discovered an interesting tidbit of information.
I am guilty. I subscribe – a lot. I couldn’t even tell you how many lists I am currently subscribed to.
I join these mailing lists for many different reasons. For one, I love to learn. When it comes to new information, especially something related to my business or that of my customers, I am like a sponge! I also like to study how other people do things. I want to see what works for others and use that to find ways to improve my own communication.
Now, those of you who are on my mailing list know that it is something I guard like a mother bear protecting her cubs. I am VERY careful this information and will never share it with anyone else. Unfortunately, this no longer seems to be the norm.
Recently, there seems to be an increase in list mishaps or improper handling. In the past 30 days alone, I have received two emails from individuals that were signed by different people. Now, I have no problem with being blunt about this. It bugs me! If I subscribe to someone’s mailing list, I expect to receive mail from that person…not someone else. And, if I do receive a communication from someone else, I am going to assume that there is a problem with either the account having been hacked or my information being shared with someone else.
One situation took place last week when I received an email from Bill’s email address, but signed by someone named Jennifer. My initial thought was that someone had hacked into Bill’s account and was using it for their own purposes. As a business person, I know that I would want someone to notify me if this happens, so I immediately told Bill that his email must have been hacked. He replied and explained that “business partner”, Jennifer, chose the wrong auto-responder in the from line of their email marketing program by accident.
I am not sure what kind of response that was supposed to trigger in me, but I do know that it made me extremely wary. You and I both know that everyone says they will never, ever share your email address with anyone, right? It is right there on their website, email signup form and the emails themselves. So, if that is the case, how does my email get mixed in to a list from both Bill and Jennifer?
After pondering this for a few days, the only answer I can come up with is list sharing. It is glaringly obvious to me that these two people have total access to one another’s list. And, whether accidental or not, it is wrong! When I signed up for this mailing list I subscribed to Bill’s emails. Nowhere did it say, “I will never, ever share your email address with anyone, except my business partner Jennifer.”
So, aside from the obvious reason of wondering who else has access to the information I provided when I signed up for this mailing list, why does this bother me? Internet marketing is a HUGE business. There are people who end up making thousands and thousands of dollars buying and selling lists and destroying credibility and reputations of anyone in the world of internet marketing. I am a small fish in a very big ocean in this industry, but I have built my success by earning the trust of my clients. When people do things like this they make us ALL look bad.
I wanted to talk about this topic and my experience today for two reasons. One – I want you to be aware this is happening. And, two – I want you to know that I will never, ever, ever, ever participate in this type of thing.
Integrity is one of the most important parts of my brand (as it should be with yours). I will never share any of your information with anyone else. That’s it, that’s all – I promise.