There Are Good Marketing Shortcuts, And Bad Ones

There Are Good Marketing Shortcuts, And Bad Ones

There Are Good Marketing Shortcuts, And Bad Ones

I recently received an email from another marketer that was sent to their list. In the message, this person tried to make the point that brands who are still using Instagram's old logo in their marketing materials are sending the message that they don't care about social media.

Now, frankly, that's a bunch of hooey. (Yes, I said hooey, get over it.)

Unless you are a marketer talking about marketing, then you're a business targeting regular consumers or other businesses in your messaging.

Do those people really care if you're using the updated Instagram logo?


Heck, you're lucky if they even read your email, right? Let alone take the time to pore over the copy so closely that minor issues like a wrong logo might be noticed.

But that's not what really caught my attention.

All the way at the bottom of the message, the marketer included this line:


Um, hold up a sec. Did you seriously just push me into your MailChimp list without my consent?

Maybe you missed it, but we covered this when we talked about how, "You Can Grow Your Email List Using LinkedIn, But Not This Way!"

Let's be clear here. Exporting your contacts from LinkedIn and importing them into MailChimp or any other email marketing tool is not only against that tool's Terms of Service, it's also against the law.

When you market your services to an individual, you're required to adhere to that individual's country of origin laws and regulations. So, when you email someone who lives in Canada for instance, you have to abide by CASL - the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.

One could try to review and note anti-spam and email marketing-related legislation in every country around the world in which one has subscribers...


Just don't fall victim to classic marketing blunders! The most famous of which is:

Never start a land war in Asia.

But only slightly less well-known is this:

Never subscribe people to your list without their permission.

Now, if you have a lot of connections on LinkedIn and you really want to leverage them... or any other list for that matter... you can read the article above for other ideas on what to do.

The bottom line here is that while shortcuts in and of themselves aren't necessarily bad, there is such a thing as a bad shortcut, and importing people to your list without their permission qualifies.

Are there other shortcuts to building up your list that aren't bad? Absolutely!

  1. Make sure every page / post in your site has someplace readers & visitors can opt in.
  2. Create Content Updates and Digital Downloads that you can offer your readers as incentive for subscribing.
  3. Used Paid Advertising, like Facebook Ads, to drive targeted individuals into your list.

Will those techniques fill your list as rapidly as a bulk import from another source might? Of course not.

But you've heard the phrase, "Too good to be true" haven't you? (Go ahead and sing that Frankie Valli tune, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You.")

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Proper marketing and audience building is a slow process. It takes time to reach people, create a connection, establish interest, and develop a relationship. Be wary of any "shortcut" that attempts to skip those intervening steps and leap right to the relationship!

You have to allow your audience to opt into your list, and choose to hear what you have to say. Or, as Frankie put it...

But if you feel like I feel
Please let me know that it's real

DISCLOSURE: Many of the links in the article above, and throughout this site, are affiliate links. While there's no additional cost to you, any purchases made via those links may earn me a commission. Rest assured, only products and services which have been rigorously tried and tested are reviewed, and those reviews are always thorough and honest. If you benefited from my review and have a genuine interest in the linked product, your use of the affiliate link is appreciated and allows me to continue writing these kinds of helpful articles. Current examples include Tailwind, AgoraPulse, Post Planner, PromoRepublic and Freshbooks. Please also note that I am employed by SiteSell as their Chief Marketing Officer and am fully authorized to share product and company information from extensive personal experience.

Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner

Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, award-winning Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.

Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."