Monday, October 13, 2008

A very effective way to be ineffective

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 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.


Susan said...

I had a similar event this weekend, and wrote a blog post about Just What I Thought. It really is annoying, and annoyed isn't how I like feeling.

But, I left that post in the drafts folder because I wondered if I'd overreacted just a bit...

I'm SO glad to see you post this now, and I probably enjoyed it mostly because of the lucky timing: I'll post mine tomorrow LOL.

H. L. Dyer said...

Will you also still accept "Dear Sweetums," and "Dear Ruler of the Known Universe," as salutations?

Pepper Smith said...

Urm, yeah, I got one of those too. I do tend to unfriend people who do that. It may be against the rules there, anyway.

Jena said...

I got one too - if it's the same guy I'm thinking of, he has over 1000 "friends." No, wait - make that 999, because I'm with you on this one.

angie said...

This is what happens when folks don't read the Promo policy @ CrimeSpace. It's been set from the beginning, but sadly some people don't get around to reading it and just end up annoying/alienating peeps. *sigh*

ali said...

Some people can be pretty stupid eh? what made him think you would want to or have the time to read a random newsletter. That was totally rude and unprofessional and it also marks him as a total amatur. good for u :)

spyscribbler said...

I can understand that. We're just so inundated. I think I lose half the

But speaking of social networks, your raving about the Kindle made me take that last to (convince my hubby to) buy a Kindle for my birthday! SQUEEEEEEAL! It is the coolest thing ever!

I understand, now. :-)

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

you're so mean, I love it.

yeah, I love social networking websites but I hate it when strangers ask me to read their stuff (cos they like my blog, which is cool), but I have no time to read strangers' work. I would rather just have a friendly conversation with a stranger before agreeing to read their stuff or whatever.

also, i hate getting spam emails from porn bots. ugh.

December/Stacia said...

I got one of those yesterday from some "Platinum book promotions" place. I have no idea how they got my email or why it was sent to me when I'd never heard of any of the authors mentioned. I just reported Spam and deleted it; I was afraid to reply with a "Why the heck did you send me this thing?" email lest I be subjected to more.

I also get those stupid MySpace invitations and stuff, which is why every couple of days I think "I should just delete that %$@& MySpace", and then promptly forget.

Jessica said...

Hey Stacia,
You can edit your profile so you don't receive invitations. :-) MySpace is full of bugs, I've heard.

December/Stacia said...

Oh, thanks Jessica! :-)

MySpace is horrible. Wonky, unattractive, counterintuitive, difficult to use...ugh. I really hate it.

clindsay said...

Hear, hear!