Been off the grid for a while and it’s good to be back!
Today’s topic – why it still matters to ask permission when contacting customers or prospects. With social media and smartphones, we are seldom away from communication, which is great when you want it and annoying when you don’t. Case in point – I have been getting a lot of auto or group texts lately. I did not ask to be contacted via text and I find it presumptuous when I get texts from groups or companies that have not asked for my permission.
Beyond the fact that asking permission is just the courteous thing to do, text messages are not free! I for one don’t appreciate getting texts that I have to pay for when I didn’t ask to get them. So before you start adding all of your prospects to an SMS platform, stop for a moment and ask for permission to communicate via text. Unsolicited emails are still a problem, but at least there is no direct cost to the end user for unwanted email (except for time spent managing your inbox!).
Try thinking of an unsolicited text message like sending a postcard with postage due – is that really the impression you want to make with a customer or prospect? I know in our increasingly connected world is it easy to treat customers, clients or prospects like we do the rest of our social network, but they are not like your friends or family. The relationship is different, and there should be an inherent level of respect for their wishes – you have to build trust with customers.
The golden rule is an oldie but a goodie – treat others as you would want to be treated. In the marketing world – online and offline – remembering this simple principle leads to better long term results and increased customer loyalty. Who wouldn’t want that?