What is spam? – And why it’s not okay

About a month ago, Sayers Solutions received an email from a member of a business networking group that we’re part of, which included an apology for sending out a blanket email.

Which got us wondering – why is this not okay?

The initial email was about their appearance on an interview which had been hosted by the mutual business networking organisation, so why would it not be okay to send this email to all the fellow members?

So, we thought we’d explore this topic further.

What is spam? and why it’s not okay.

  • Spam is a brand of cooked pork and stands for Shoulder of Pork and Ham

Or it’s the

  • Use of messaging systems to send multiple unsolicited messages to a large number of participants for the purpose of commercial advertising – most recognised is email spam.

Online memberships and business networking groups are a great way to connect with likeminded people around the world. However, they have also made it easy to spam – for example contacting members of other chapters.

BNI members use an App called Connect, which allows them to invite visitors, track their contributions and connect them with other members; in their own Chapter, but also throughout the Global BNI network.

Ivan Misner the founder of BNI says “It’s understandable, you’re excited, you want to let the world know about what you do.”  But goes on to say that it is not okay to use Connect to make connections and ask for business, without the relationship – this is SPAM.

These are unsolicited requests to do business with people you don’t know. Instead, you should be meeting them face to face and nurturing relationships first.

Ivan tells us AFTER visibility and credibility comes profitability – VCP

The point Sayers Solutions wants to reiterate is that Spam is unsolicited

Email is a great tool to stay in touch with people and to share information.  However, emails can be annoying if they are not relevant or are too frequent.

In the early days of Sayers Solutions, we adopted the theory, that an exchange of business cards was permission to contact.  Over the years we’ve refined the process and certainly don’t go out collecting business cards as we used to.

Now we invite people to subscribe to lists – It mostly feels like a pointless exercise (as no one ever wants to subscribe to any lists) but it’s the only way to do it without spamming!

A legal professional might be better placed to talk about the legal aspect – however when it comes to Spam and email marketing there are a couple of legislations to consider.

There is of course the infamous GDPR – however, this is just about the data you hold and nothing to do with permission to contact.

More relevant is PECR – which is Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation – and this states you must legally have consent or an existing customer relationship.

This article was prompted by the question “was this blanket email okay” and for us it wasn’t spam.

While the information pertained might not have been solicited – the information wasn’t asked for nor are we subscribed to their mailing list – doesn’t our membership of the chapter permit the sharing of relevant and interesting content, which will assist us in our duties as fellow members?

What are your thoughts, and do you agree?

If you explicitly would like to be added to mailing lists of fellow business owners and be kept up to date with their news and promotions, please let them know!  I can tell you they would love you for doing so!

If you don’t, that’s fine, but sharing information following topics discussed in a networking event which supports you to be able to find referrals and introduction for your fellow members, in our eyes, is not spam and should be welcomed!

If you would like assistance with email marketing or to discuss the broader issue of staying in touch with people, please book yourself a Suggestion Session – which is a free 20-minute consultation with Sayer Solutions – https://www.sayerssolutions.co.uk/book-a-session-with-sayers-solutions/

Do you like attending networking events? Erratically (as in, not on any regular basis) Sayers Solutions sends out updates and information about networking events that we attend and are involved in, if you would like to receive these please sign up to the mailing list here – https://share.hsforms.com/1TwU4nHfoR_e6G1S6c487xA37fjm