top of page

When You Don't Opt In

Email I just received: “I have an "unpack it with Nancy" question:” 

My thought bubble: Wow, I haven’t had a write-in for nearly 2 years!  

Email continues: “I've had a few people who have signed me up for their newsletters without me personally opting in. They have done so after one meeting together or one back and forth email. I'm wondering what you think about this?

I'm finding that with people I don't have a really good vibe with that it annoys the heck out of me. I've also always been super strict about this with my own email list and I don't sign people up unless they have opted in or have signed up for one of my events/products/podcast. Am I being too strict about this?”

nancy mendelson hertelier

Dear "Am I Being Too Strict,"

Thank you for writing in.  That my opinion matters to you, matters to me!  

After reading your email, the first thing I did was research the FTC laws regarding the legality of signing people up for newsletters without their permission and found the following on Iubenda,"Under the FTC's CAN-SPAM Act, you do not need consent prior to adding users located in the US to your mailing list or sending them commercial messages, however, it is mandatory that you provide users with a clear means of opting out of further contact."

Was about to go deeper into this, then realized that the issues you are having have nothing to do with legality, and that all the compliance information you need is easily accessible.  So, moving on…

nancy mendelson hertelier

To answer your question, what do I think about this? Well, like you, if I was to do a newsletter, I would get someone’s permission before signing them up. So, I don’t think you are being too strict --these are your standards, and I share them.  

Although, personally, it doesn’t bother me when I do receive a newsletter or email communication I never signed up for, regardless of whether I like the person/ entity, or not…unless it is actual SPAM, then that’s a whole other story.  I can always opt out.  Since it’s not illegal, I don’t begrudge the “it’s easier to apologize than ask for permission,” marketing strategy.

Over the past few years, I have made a concerted effort to try to separate the message from the messenger, because you never know where the next good idea will come from.  In the words of Oscar Wilde “The value of an idea has nothing whatever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it”…let’s change “man” to “person”!   

Hope this helps!


bottom of page