Email as a communication tool to augment blogging isn't bad in itself. It's the fact that I hadn't given permission for my email to be used this way. Granted--granted!--my email address is listed over there ------> in the sidebar for all to see and use. However, if you should take my address and use it for your mailing list, you would be a spammer.
When I got the email, I tweeted about it. Several people gave me advice on how to handle it. I felt that it required kid gloves because this is social media, after all, and I generally don't like to alienate my bloggy friends. Tawna Fenske suggested saying nothing in reply, but blocking the emailer from further attempts. Still another fellow tweeter suggested replying and gently educating the emailer on the etiquette.
Ultimately, I did nothing, but I blocked the address as spam. I feel that mining your google follower list for emails is such a gross violation of mass emailing standards that there really was nothing to say. I still go back and forth in my mind about it. It's possible the person genuinely didn't know. When I re-read the email, I noticed that it did say "Apologies if you don't want to receive this type of email; if you don't, let me know."
But that puts the action of it on me, and I still have to send an email that is not anonymous. I still risk having "ass" attached to me for doing so. It's like those guys who paint your house number on your curb and then ask for payment. If you don't want to pay for your house number painted on your curb (and why would I, when the cost is exorbitant), then *I* have to go outside, put some kind of notice on the curb, and hope the wind and rain don't blow it away. That assumes I can walk to the curb and bend over to begin with! (I can walk, but bending over--not so easy when you're preggers!)
Forget that. Ask me first or else get relegated to the spam folder, lose a blog follower, and generally piss people off.
Look, as authors or future authors, email lists are a great marketing tool. You should use them. But there are rules that must be obeyed. Because I administrate mass emailings for my company, here they are, in case you didn't know:
- You may not email people unless they have specifically opted-in for that purpose.
- You must include a way for the recipient to opt-out or unsubscribe from the email list and you must make it easy to do so (no "in writing" or bs like that)
- Don't abuse the purpose. Meaning, don't send out mass emails to say hi or that your cat took a dump. Make sure it's newsworthy.