Engaging with your fans is a fundamental element of smart book marketing, and I’m all for it. However, there’s a fine line between casual communication and inappropriate communication, and that line is often called “bcc” aka “blind copy.”
If I send an e-mail to a small group of friends from my personal e-mail account, I’ll put them all on the recipient list. But if I send a message to any size group of readers from my author e-mail address, that’s a different story. For that I will always blind copy.
Last week I received an e-mail from the new assistant of a talented friend of mine who does brand consulting for small businesses. My friend had tasked the assistant with updating her client database with birthdays. It was a smart idea, but unfortunately the assistant included all the clients on the recipient list. We’re talking more than 100 people.
Needless to say, my friend was mortified by the gaffe and quickly sent out a message of apology (using blind copy). I laughed it off, but I’m also not a client. If I were, I might have reacted differently. I wasn’t surprised by the assistant’s error because I see it all the time in book marketing. Enthusiastic new authors want to promote their books, and in their haste to get the word out they often e-mail everyone they’ve ever met about the book and put everyone on the recipient line. Every time I see this I feel bad for the author because it just doesn’t look professional. Also, one “forward” of that e-mail, and who knows where all those addresses are going to end up. More spam, anyone?
If you don’t use a newsletter program, I urge you to use the blind copy feature for all your promotional e-mails. Not only does it protect the addresses of your fans, it looks so much prettier!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.