It seems like every day I receive an email from a stranger.

Most of the time this stranger turns out to be a new LinkedIn connection.

I know when new LinkedIn connections add me to their email list without my permission.

How do I know?

I have a specific email address I use for LinkedIn.

I always unsubscribe from these email lists because they didn't earn my trust.

Trust is huge with me.

If our first interaction is a little white lie, then I don't want to do business with you.

It may seem like a small violation of my trust but I've been burned too many times by unethical marketers and business owners.

I know a lot of reputable LinkedIn experts add their new LinkedIn connections to their email list without asking.

They justify it by letting people know in their LinkedIn welcome message after they connect.

Thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I added you to my email list so you'll receive timely LinkedIn tips. If you do not want LinkedIn tips feel free to unsubscribe.

You are “kinda” asking permission to add them to your list.

You are burdening me to unsubscribe from your list that I didn't ask to be on.

Does this fall into the “It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” category?

Technically it's against GDPR and CANSPAM regulations to add someone to your email list without their permission.

The fines are hefty if they decided to prosecute you but I've never heard of them going after small business owners.

I'll be honest.

I tried this technique.

To me, it felt slimy adding people to my list without their permission.

Some people didn't mind, many unsubscribed immediately and a few complained.

If too many people complain, this can affect your email delivery rates and even get you blacklisted.

I guess I'm Mr. Goody Two Shoes and I don't like to break the rules and I want to protect my reputation (thanks Mom for drilling that into my head.)

I may have picked up a client or two by adding someone to my list but they are usually “one and done” clients.

I know my best clients come from being heard on podcasts, virtual events, reading my content or people who have bought my books.

I earned their trust because they found me and they chose to join my email list.

Lately, I started testing a new welcome message.

Thanks for connecting FIRSTNAME.

Quick question.

Would you like timely email tips to elevate your LinkedIn game?

If so visit


I let them decide if they want to join my email list.

So far about 20% are visiting my landing page and 10% have joined my email list.

I'd love to hear what you think.

Reply to the message and let me know if you think it's okay to add people to your email list without their permission.


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About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you?

I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach.

I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic.

Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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