How To Piss People Off In The Email Marketing Industry

Funny story.

Scrolling through Twitter this morning and I see the following:

Shit. This is quickly followed by:

This just got real. And I’m thinking to myself, “I do this.”

A few weeks ago, I set up an IFTTT recipe to add any Twitter user to a list when they use #emailgeeks in a Tweet. I thought this was a pretty harmless way for me to see who is talking about email marketing on Twitter.

Email Marketing Twitter List
832 Members! Whoa…that IFTTT automation is a little too successful!

I should have realized that when my list reached 500 users that I needed to re-think this method.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really think about this until I saw the aforementioned tweets. Nothing like a good public shaming to get people to change behaviors.

So, IFTTT recipe is no more! Tweetdeck is now “on deck” with a tab devoted to #emailgeeks.

Tweetdeck #emailgeeks tab
A snippet of what my #emailgeeks tab in Tweetdeck looks like.

What did I learn from this?

  1. Automation is not always your friend.

I’ve been on Twitter since 2004, so I have a pretty extensive list of people I follow.As anyone on Twitter knows, it’s hard to cut through the noise of the real-time updates from your entire network. I used the IFTTT recipe to be more efficient in my Twitter time and “curate” my Twitter Feed so I could get the pulse of the email marketing industry.

This method backfired like a boss.

  1. There’s probably another way.

In the Twitter conversation, I mentioned my reason for the IFTTT recipe and the list automation. One participant quickly pointed out Tweetdeck and it’s ability to save hashtag searches as “tabs.” This allows me to have a feed, per se, devoted completely to #emailgeeks.

As suggested, I will now manually add future #emailgeeks users to my list based on what I see in my Tweetdeck tab.

  1. Trust your community.

Whether it’s my time in the Pardot Success Community on Salesforce, or #emailgeeks on Twitter, I take tremendous pride in being a member of those communities. There are hundreds of people using those tools on a daily basis in ways different from myself, bringing hundreds of different perspectives and experiences. Trust those differences. Trust the community.

  1. Discuss. Don’t Freak Out.

I think the reason why I was humbled by this conversation, and not upset, was the way the community handled the conversation. When I mentioned that I could be one of those “bots” added people to Twitter lists, the conversation turned from address those “crazy, unknown robots” to “here’s a better way to do what you’re trying to do.”

That pivot means everything as Twitter can be an extremely hostile environment. The #emailgeeks community is anything but hostile, and that proved to be true in this instance as well.