I’ve just done something exceptional. I have spend about 6 hours on Facebook doing ‘fb stuff’ and playing with my emails. Gosh, I had no idea there are so many people having something very important to share with me!
Yeah, I can feel the love now…
The quantity wasn’t a big problem (though I found almost 250 emails in my inbox), as I kind of get used to receiving a lot of emails a day. It is normal. This is a cyber world we live in, so hundreds of emails are not a surprise.
But something else happened to me today.
I’ve received an email from my friend that I met few months ago during a nice dinner at our mutual friends. Both she and I love wine, we had millions of topics to talk about and she was so lovely, so we wanted to stay in touch. I gave her my private email address so she could contact me. We wanted to go for a coffee one day.
She hasn’t contacted me though, since last holidays. Today I got another promo email from her instead; it was an advertising of the cosmetics from the company she works for.
I have never signed for her e-mailing list so I was not only surprised but also very angry. I’ve already asked her to remove my private email address from her company’s e-mailing list. She didn’t do it. That would be the last straw.
Now, my dear friend, the camel’s back is broken. And the blood is on your hands.
Although I get used to a full inbox, I am tired of receiving hundreds of emails per day. I don’t read them. Most of them I don’t even open. It doesn’t matter whether it has the killer title or not. It doesn’t matter whether it gives me all I want for free or sells the products I really need (that’s why you tell me what I need, don’t you?)
Trust me, I just look for those emails I’ve been waiting for and I delete the rest of them. With one click I delete them all. This magic option is called, not surprisingly, ‘delete all’. And I use it unlimitedly.
Secondly, I am tired of people wanting me to like their FB fan pages just because I am a friend or just because I haven’t liked it yet. I still don’t understand why so many of my friends waste their time on inviting their friends to like fan pages or groups they are members of. I can understand Alice Doe invites her friends to like her fan page and Bob Roe invites his friends to join his FB group, but inviting everybody to like every page or join every group? C’mon, it’s not even funny.
If you are not interested in some of the Facebook groups anymore, then leave them. You will have more time to participate in fb communities you really like to be part of.
I start to feel uncomfortable knowing what type of people I called ‘friends’ and I feel even worse when I realize how many of them are not only my internet pals but my real-life friends.
It is scary.
But, again… ‘this is the world we live in’, isn’t it?
Finally, I am tired of explaining people (my own friends!) not to add my personal email address to their e-mailing lists without my permission and I am tired of asking them to remove it from their lists. I am in online businesses so many years and it didn’t even cross my mind to sign up my friends to my newsletter. I could do that as I have their email addresses. I could build a good and quite long email list in a few minutes. Perhaps everyone does it, but I cannot imagine myself adding my friends without at least asking them first.
It looks like I am a weirdo.
Is it me or is there anyone else feeling this way?
Some time ago I’ve seen the report about social media networks, as far as I remember it was a Facebook-oriented report; I have no link, so I won’t credit anyone this time.
There was clear information in that report– (1)people click ‘like’ on FB fan pages even if they are not interested in them.
(2) They join FB events because they don’t want to reject the invitation; even if they know they cannot be tomorrow at the party in New York, because Alice is in Wonderland and Bob is on a business trip thousands of kilometres from home…
(3) They give their email addresses to everyone who wants it (coz this free shopping list template is something they cannot live without) even if they feel overwhelmed with the quantity of messages they find every day in their inboxes.
‘This is the world we live in’ and it is only going to be worse. Giving freebies on a website is one of the most popular ways of collecting subscribers. It is normal. I really know it and I understand it as I do the same. I just don’t cross the line.
That makes me wonder… are we really so scared to say NO?
Unlike all of the Facebook fan-pages that hadn’t been updated for a year or more. Review the rest of them and decide in which you are interested in. Unlike the rest of them.
Alice Doe doesn’t have to like her best friend’s ‘Meat-lovers fan page’ coz she is a vegan and she will not only be disgusted looking at pictures with dead animals on the plate but also she will turn off any notifications from this fan page (if she knows how to do it) and she will never like, comment or share any posts on this fan page. Alice is not a perfect customer / reader / follower. I’m sure you get it.
Bob Roe doesn’t have to receive 7 promo emails a week from the online shop, where two years ago his younger brother ordered an e-book ‘How to make an origami Darth Vader’ using Bob’s email address. He can make some space in his inbox by clicking another magic option, which is called ‘unsubscribe’ (FYI, it should be placed at the bottom of every promo email you receive).
Both Alice Doe and Bob Roe can say NO.
You can say no.
But! If you are like Alice or Bob, then you are very welcome to sign up to my newsletter and like my fan page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest… just kidding ;)
I did say NO today.
My friend probably wouldn’t speak to me is she knew I added her email address to my email blacklist. Sorry Babe, but it’s over. I just want you to know it’s not you, it’s me.
I want all of you to know. It’s not you guys, it’s me.
Inspired but this tiny annoying incident I decided to spend some time on Facebook instead of working. I deserve one day break from my job, don’t I? These few hours were very efficient and I found out lots of things about myself.
Firstly, I was a member of more than a hundred Facebook groups, many of which I was never interested in; I don’t even remember whether I joined them or someone added me. I am not a member of many of them anymore. I feel relieved.
Secondly, I liked more than five hundred fan pages (??!!??!!) I won’t be incorrect if I say that at least 10% of them hadn’t been actualized for at least one year; not saying a word about my friend’s fan pages I haven’t visited once. I found many shops’ and online business’ fan pages that I don’t even remember ‘liking’ at the first place. I had about 100 fan pages of places or celebrities. I don’t ‘like’ many of them anymore.
Thirdly, since I have decided I am not working today (oh, I love being my own boss!) I get through all the emails in my inbox. I found out that many of the companies (both online and offline ones) send 1-2 emails a day (!!) with new offers, promotions, recommendations and other not-interesting-for-me content. I was surprised when I figured out many of the blogs I read or used to read also send 3-4 emails a week!
New post? Boom!! A new email in my inbox with at least three links to this new post.
New online course or webinar? Boom!! 7-day series of emails in my inbox, each day telling me that ‘this is my last chance’ or ‘I will not find it anywhere else’. PLUS after party series of emails with ‘you still can buy the course’ or ‘you missed it but I really think you should watch the replay’.
A new version of the product in the shop? Boom!! A few emails with ten and more reasons why I should buy the new edition of the book I’ve already bought. This time, however, the cover is blue and it might fit better the wallpaper in my library than the old one which was red. Seriously?
Listen, guys, I know that this is the world we live in. Everybody collect emails and build mailing lists. Everybody squeeze the social media networks like a lemon to get as much juice as possible. Everybody wants to sell products and earn money online. I don’t mind, really. This is a way to run an online business. I understand it as I do similar online activities.
Similar, but not the same.
Not the same, because I send one or max two emails a month, only if I have something really interesting to say to my subscribers. There are months I do not sell any email at all.
Similar, because I share links to my website on my social media profiles but I don’t buy ‘likes’. I join groups and participate in them by sharing my knowledge and getting to know people online, I like groups that I am interested in and I don’t expect a ‘like back’.
It could be great to grow my list to 10 000 subscribers in 30 days, but I am happy with all the people I’ve gathered around my online activities already. I have a much smaller audience than those ten thousand, which everybody dream of. I prefer to write to people who are interested in what I am doing and may benefit from me; to people who actually read me.
Get through each email in your inbox and think whether the subscription is important for you or not. If you hadn’t opened a newsletter from a particular author for last few months, then probably you are no longer interested in the subject. If so, then unsubscribe. Keep only those subscriptions that truly inspire you.
Maybe one day they will buy my products and maybe they won’t. Maybe they missed one of my posts or courses and they are angry I hadn’t sent ten emails with ‘your last chance’. Maybe they are happy to see my emails with useful tips. Maybe they will stay with me forever or maybe they won’t.
Anyway, my point is to think what you do and how you do it online. Don’t be aggressive in your email campaigns if you create them. Find a balance between being informative and selling stuff. Respect your customers’ and readers’ privacy and remember to respect your own. Be aware what is going on in your internet life and don’t waste your time on things you are not interested in.
Sometimes you will say ‘it’s over’ to someone else, you will leave a group or say NO to a fan page you don’t really like. Sometimes you will hear ‘it’s over’ from your readers or your customers. This is normal, this is life.
This is the world we live in. Do you agree with me?
Notice: Alice Doe and Bob Roe are the product of my imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.