What are expectations?
Expectations are closely related to permission in that it’s only granted for what the client expects to receive from you. That makes good sense, because if someone signs up to learn about basket-weaving but then you send 'get-rich-quick' info, they're gonna click 'this is spam'. Likewise, they will complain if you promised travel tips and you send them affiliate pitches or sales copies or anything else they didn’t ask for. If they complain, you delivery suffers and in turn our delivery suffers.
Here’s the bottom line - tell someone what they’re going to get when they fill out your form, and then just give them that. It’s that simple.
You don’t like it when people bombard you with emails about things you didn’t specifically ask for do you?
What do I need to do?
You need to be clear in your sign-up process about what people are going to get when they give you their contact information.
- Just because someone called to get a price quote and gave you their email address to deliver it DOESN'T mean you can add them to your marketing list.
- Just because someone dropped their card into your fishbowl to win an iPod, doesn't mean you can bombard them with sales pitches.
- Just because someone bought something from your webstore doesn't mean you can add them to your newsletter list!
If you're offering a bribe in exchange for contact info (free whitepaper, video, whatever) and you want to add them to your newsletter list, you have to make it clear that you're going to add them or else make the newsletter part optional.