What’s a Business Card For?

post by Stephanie Nelson

For all you e-mail marketers out there, I have news for you.  Well…at least for some of you.  When I give you my business card, it’s NOT for you to add you to your e-mail blast list.

Let me repeat that, in all caps and bold so you get the importance of this.

WHEN I GIVE YOU MY BUSINESS CARD, IT’S NOT FOR YOU TO ADD ME TO YOUR E-MAIL BLAST LIST.

This is doubly true when you do not include any sort of unsubscribe function in your blast.  (That, I’ll take this opportunity to point out, is against the CAN-SPAM Act and can open you up to federal fines of $16,000 per e-mail.)

So what is my business card for, you may ask?  My card is to set up a business relationship with you, to entrust you with the ways to get in touch with me should you want to connect, network or do business together on a one-on-one basis.  By disrespecting that, you all but guarantee that I will not be sending business or connections your way.  I will not jeopardize my connections with my network that way.

Perhaps the impetus is on me and I should take the advice of a business person I once overheard saying that he never gives out his business card at a first meeting.  He said he waits until there’s been some sort of trust established, THEN he exchanges cards.

What’s your take?  Do you add any new connection to your e-mail blast list automatically?  Or does that annoy you, too?

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net