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In my view, one of the cardinal sins for networkers or anyone in business is to add people to their mailing list without permission. (See How do I legally add people to my mailing list after they have met them, to find out how to do this legally and ethically.)

So you can imagine how much steam was erupting from my ears when I received a newsletter from a Virtual Assistant (VA) who had added me at least twice to her mailing list without asking. I’d unsubscribed and reported her to MailChimp both times for this piece of illegal activity. Even worse, this VA had been adding email addresses from her client’s contacts to her own mailing lists. Seriously! I kid you not.

Seeing as my unsubscribing and reporting to Mailchimp just wasn’t getting the message through to this VA, I wrote a polite (actually, yes very polite email) to this VA asking her to stop illegally adding me to her mailing lists. I received a one word email in reply – sorry. Maybe the message was finally getting through to her?

Therefore you can imagine my complete and utter surprise to find a LinkedIn request from this VA less than a week later. Why was I going to risk exposing my LinkedIn connections to someone who was potentially going to use and abuse their inbox? (See also 5 ways to definitely annoy people on LinkedIn and 4 ways to look stupid on LinkedIn)

This is a short and sweet blog post, but there are two key take outs from this episode:

  1. Never add someone to a mailing list without their permission
  2. If the relationship has gone bad, don’t be surprised if they don’t accept your LinkedIn request or take your call