I'll tell you in a word:
That's how thin the line is between spamming and helping someone.
What's the big differentiator between someone throwin' stinking piles of doo-doo at you...
... and people putting your picture in a frame around their house?
The exact same reason the marketing stuff in the image above can either work for or against you...
A combination of permission and value.
Simple as that.
There's no secret trick to this stuff...
It's just understanding your customers, plain and simple.
A little bit of good ol' detective work.
That's something "big dah-tah" can't help you with.
Sure, you can get all the information and add it to the pile of stuff you've already got but don't know what to do with...
But only you can sit down and decipher what it means about your own customers.
What they will find valuable...
How they like to communicate...
And how you're going to get their permission to market to them...
All that good stuff people seem to forget while they're off chasing shiny things with their 2-second attention spans.
AM I SPAMMING PEOPLE USING INBOUND MARKETING?
This question was posted at Inbound.org, "Where do you draw the line between helping people and spamming people?"
She was talking about her email inbox as a consumer...
So perk up people, she's like any of your customers.
Here's what she had to say:
"Something has been eating at me lately. Inbound Marketing (sic) encourages us to collect email addresses in exchange for content, then put those email addresses on a mailing list. But the people who gave their emails never consented to be on a mailing list. Similarly, people create accounts on websites and their email addresses are added to mailing lists without their consent all the time.
The VAST majority of emails I receive from mailing lists are not personal, not helpful, and not applicable to the reason I gave my email address in the first place. Sometimes I receive a dozen emails from a mailing list before I even have time to look at the first one. Every day I am unsubscribing from mailing lists I never asked to join, giving "I never asked to receive these emails" as my reason.
Am I the only one who feels like I'm constantly being spammed? Where do YOU draw the line between helping people and spamming people?"
See this baby here:
Every day I am unsubscribing from mailing lists I never asked to join, giving "I never asked to receive these emails" as my reason.
That's the kind of stuff that kills your lists and then has your domain blacklisted.
That's the kind of stuff where you want to send out a killer promo via email but you can't...
... because you shot yourself in the foot and your emails are now automatically sent to junk for pretty much everyone on your list.
So now you cry, "emails just don't work for me... maybe for you, James, but they just don't work for me or my industry..."
Give me a break!
You screwed it up, now you're paying for it.
HERE'S MY ANSWER
No, you're not the only one who feels like they're being constantly spammed.
There are lots of bad 'marketers' out there - and by 'bad' I don't mean they don't know what they're doing (although most don't because really they're just solopreneurs doing stuff they read on the internet - so not a 'marketer' at all), I mean they don't know regulations around stuff like this.
So, they don't add a clear statement saying that you will be added to a mailing list.
Or better yet, that opt-ins to your list are optional, and they need to check a box to subscribe.
Which, for the health of your list is a good thing. It means you'll be flagged less for spam and the quality of the list overall is better.
Better list quality = a more valuable list for your business.
EU regulations are a good step, but it's not going to kill this behaviour out - wishful thinking.
Because it's as simple as buying an email autoresponder service and slapping together an email sequence, you can call yourself a digital marketer and start spamming people.
You don't need to do a course on the do's and don'ts before you can send your first email - so no one knows that this is actually illegal.
In short, the vast majority of marketers don't know the rules and regulations around this tech, so it's being abused.
And onto your next point:
With regards to most emails being noticeably shit... it's because they are.
Now, this is clearly anecdotal, but it's true in almost every place I've seen...
They're usually written from someone in the marketing 'department' who also manages every other aspect of the marketing.
They don't have a clue about how to use email properly, and think of it as something they need to do to 'check off a box' before they post some shitty 'article' online that's 500 words (for my 'ess-ee-oh' duhh), and it probably followed another checklist that said, 'schedule 5 social media posts' for their page that has a whopping 67 likes.
Fair play to them, but it's causing the problem you're experiencing - shit emails that you want to unsubscribe to.
Emails should be written by a copywriter.
They know what they're doing and will make emails that people want to read.
Now, I understand many can't afford to have a copywriter do their thing on your email campaigns.
In which case, think carefully about whether you should use email or not; if you still want to go ahead, study up on it.
Daily emails are the norm for most lists that have copywriters writing them, because churn rate remains low, engagement goes up, and sales go up.
Companies that use email actively also know the regulations around email and will do their best to have leads self-qualify before they ever get near the list.
It means they can send daily emails without fear of being flagged for spamming because all these leads know exactly what they're getting, and they actively want this information.
I'm not including things like retailers, I'm talking about stuff from service companies etc. on the most part - arguably where most of the 'grief' comes from with spam emails.
Where do I draw the line between helping people and spamming?
For clients, you've got to have it very clearly on all landing pages.
With my own stuff:
Opt-in form is below the fold... you have to read that you'll get x emails every week and what it contains.
It's worth the reduction in sign-ups to get a super healthy, engaged list.
Conversion rate be damned!
What's the point of signing someone up to have them flag you as spam, apart from hitting your 'kay-pee-eyes'!
Doesn't help anyone.
I'm a big advocate of daily emails.
I've seen how well they work and they destroy the results from emails every fortnight or month.
Again, anecdotal, so it might not be the case for your industry, or whether you can actually keep up a daily email list that provides value.
But, generally, if I see the churn rate for the month hit about 10-15%, something is off and I'll send an email to my list to survey what they actually expected from me/the company.
Now, you can also read the some of the other answers to this question by clicking here.
Some great insight too from other marketers if you're keen as a bean to keep readin' on.
So, if you don't want crappy email copywriting that makes people hit unsubscribe - or even worse, the spam button...
... click here to get email copywriting done properly.
I can whip up email campaigns that will have your customers hitting 'reply' and asking why you stopped sending them if you miss a day.
I've done it for others, and I can probably do it for you.
Let's give it a shot.
JC Steadman Marketing
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I help companies make their competition irrelevant, find more ideal customers, and build their brands.