True story: I was just signed up to a company's email list after I did something that I do every day.
I gave someone my business card.
Soon after, I began receiving their company emails even though I didn't sign up for them.
Did they forget the golden rule of email marketing? You know what it is... say it with me....
Getting a business card from someone is not a specific invitation to add them to your newsletter, blog subscription or other types of marketing lists.
- It is rude and presumptuous.
- It is disruptive to the person who begins receiving unwanted email.
- It causes them to be caught off guard (and not in a good way).
Permission is a must when getting people to sign up for your content.
It shows you don't want to blindly broadcast your content. Rather, your goal should be providing it for those who want it. In the end, this is better for your analytics and bottom line results.
Assuming you have the green light to do what you want with someone's information on their business card is simply wrong. That information is there for business purposes, not for you to grow your database, unless they have specifically asked to be added.
Most of the time, business cards are used to connect later or follow-up on a conversation or meeting. They are helpful to remember things like industry, position at the company and basic follow up information.
A personal email or call asking the person if they would like to receive your weekly blog or monthly newsletter is a much smarter tactic, and aligns with the inbound principals of permission-based marketing.