How often do you receive junk email? Junk email is different from spam – it’s from a business or person who believes he has permission to send it. Unless you’ve given your explicit permission for a business to email you – they shouldn’t. But, where do we draw the line? What’s permission and what’s not?
For example, suppose you purchase a blender from an online retailer. Obviously, you’re required to give your email when making the purchase. It’s necessary to complete the transaction. Are you giving that business your permission to email you anything at any time? No! Why is this so hard to understand?
How a business interprets permission is critical to whether or not its actions work to build its tribe of customers or destroy it.
During the summer of 2008, I received a daily email from an old and established company - Sears. Each day, it was the same email – promoting their central air conditioning systems. Further, my attempts to be removed from the email list weren’t successful.
What Sears must not understand (or don’t care) is that each day I received a new email – I became a little angrier at them as now they were spamming me. As a result, I refuse to purchase from Sears ever again. They’ve alienated me from their tribe. That’s correct, I’m no longer a member of the Sears Tribe.
This is a classic example of a large company working to destroy its own tribe – one customer (me in this case) at a time.