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April 12, 2010 // 8:00 AM

The Quickest Way to Kill Your E-mail List: Spam Your Fans

Written by | @

Happy and Sad

In order to protect the, well, guilty, I won't name the organizations, but I will share the scenario.

My coworker donated money to her alma mater, another coworker to a favorite non-profit of hers. Great! They're happy to support these organizations. What they weren't happy about was what came afterwards. As soon as they had handed over their donations, they promptly were bombarded with phone calls and emails from these organizations. Identified as previous donors, that put them on the "please-spam-for-more-donations" list.

Here's what happened:

Day 1: Donate money.
Happiness level: 100%, happy to offer support!

Day 2 : Phone call & email asking for another donation.
Happiness level: 90%, a little peeved.

Day 3: Phone call & email asking for another donation.
Happiness: 70%, come on now.

Day 4: Phone call & email asking for another donation.
Happiness level: 30%, really? REALLY?

Day 5: Phone call & email from another tangential organization that clearly got that information from the initial organization.
Happiness level: -10%, don't ever call or email me again.

Sure, your past customers or donors are much more likely to be repeat customers or repeat donors, but spamming them is not the right way to cultivate that relationship. Furthermore, sharing your personal contact information with others does not say that you value and respect that relationship.

What do you think? Have any horror stories of your own? What are some good ways to nurture relationships with previous customers and donors?

Photo credit: swamibu

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