Social networks can be very powerful tools for buzz marketing. I've extolled the virtues of them here and elsewhere. I'm a member of several networks, and I use Twitter.
Today I got an email blast from a person who's on one of the social networks I'm also on. It was a special "Crime Space Edition" of his newsletter.
How very special.
If I want to be on your mailing list, I'll sign up on your website.
If I want to read your blog I'll put you on my RSS feed.
If I want to hear from you, I'll let you know.
So what did I do?
First of course, I took him off my friend list. That sounds very high school I know, but what it really means was I removed him from the list of people who can email me through the CrimeSpace network.
Then I adjusted my email settings so that only people who are friends can email me.
The reason I didn't just classify the email as junk is that he used his crimespace.ning.com email address and not all email from that address is junk. Just his.
Now, before you get hot under the collar about how petty this is of me (just put it in the trash you old hag, I can hear you say), let's remember that my goal is email management. I don't want to have to read a bunch of blather if I don't have to. If I just throw it away, the next bozo gets to repeat the mistake and once was quite enough thank you.
And remember too, that in doing this kind of email blast, you absolutely undercut any hope of building buzz for your book. I not only won't talk about it in any sort of positive way, I've cut you off from EVER emailing me again in this way.
The first and almost only rule of social networking is do not send generic emails to people. Social networking is about personal connection.
IF this bozo had taken the time to say "Dear Janet, we're friends on CrimeSpace, here's my newsletter, if you want to sign up I'd be glad to have you" I would have deleted it but I wouldn't have gone any farther. The key element here is the "Dear Janet".
Yes it takes longer. Suck it up.
It also means you won't have wasted your time, my time, and any possible chance of me reading your book, your newsletter, your blog, or your note of apology.