I realize that putting one's self out there in cyberspace and publishing one's email address is going to open one (me and every other blogger/writer/douchebag) up to a lot of unsolicited email. And crap. That's fine. That's why the spam folder exists (thank the web gods).
But for the love of pete, please don't cyber-stalk someone (like the person in the example below did), pretend to have some sort of connection or valid reason for writing to them, and hit them up for sales. It's tacky and a waste of the reader's time. Plus, you'll piss off the reader for pretending to have a valid reason for contacting her. And she'll blog about you and tell everyone else to mark you as "Spam."
Here's what I got from someone named Melanie claiming to know someone I know. All the typos are hers alone, as I did a straight-on copy & paste, with minimal editing:
subject: I got your email from XXXX [writer]'s site
Hi! I love XXX and love her site and her XXX book. she is my inspiration.
I started a business www.ispampeopleidon'tknowcauseimajerk.com about 2 yrs ago. I then started a second business with [product] and I am running that as my main business now.
(EB says: And I care, why?)
I found the most amazing [MLM] that I now sell accounts to and basically ask anyone I can if they want to sell too and make some extra money. You need to have a computer and so that is why I contact a lot of people online, 'cause I know you have a computer!
(EB SAYS: What makes you think I have a computer? Because I blog? For all you know, I sneak this shit in at my day job, and email at night from the free Library computers.)
[LONG DESCRIPTION OF THE MLM SHE SELLS FOR AND HOW I CAN TRY IT "FOR FREE!"]
I know this is strange to contact you this way, but I tell as many people as I can about my new business, so if you aren't interested just delete this email and I won't contact you again.
(EB SAYS: Please don't. Ever. Thanks.)
If you want me to mail you a sample, email me your real address and I will send you one.
[EB SAYS: Right, like I'm going to send my address to a complete stranger. Are you also a Nigerian prince who has a great investment for me?]
So, folks, got it? I don't give a crap if you've started a new business and the training they give you tells you to reach out to everyone in the most unconventional ways (I used to sell that shit -- I know how it goes). Don't pester those who probably don't want what you're selling!