A lot of times, I am sure most bloggers would love to connect more with their readers. They offer email subscriptions to their RSS feed or newsletters. Or they have plugins on their WordPress blogs like the Thank me Later plugin which allows you to send an automatic email at a later time to invite former readers to come by or subscribe to your feed.
I recently found in my stats that someone asked about if it was okay to take the emails of your users and invite them to social networks like Facebook.
In fact, here was the search
can i use email addresses of people who have bougfht from website to invite them to join facebook?
Unfortunately, their search ended up at my tag section for facebook. My answer – well, this is kind of tricky. On one hand, I would say no harm done as you can simply send an invite. However, on the other hand, it could be seen as spam. You might be inviting a totally brand new person from your site to a place they might not be a member of or they do not have any interest to become a part of Facebook or any other social network. Please remember there are people that still try to hang on to their rights to privacy online.
Now, if the person you are inviting is someone you regularly see on your blog and you think might be interested in joining in on the social network crowd, that is fine to invite. The better alternative instead of inviting is to blog about the site and share why you enjoy the site and how your readers might enjoy a particular social network site. As an example, since I have blogged about Twitter, a lot of my regular and past readers have actually joined. I did not tell them – “hey go join.” I have been talking about Twitter from various angles that I thought were interesting, as well as conveying how you can harness social networks in social media techniques.
What do you think? Is it spammish or rude to use the emails of your readers to invite them to social networks?