A close friend asked me if I'd meet with a friend of hers who was starting a business and wanted some advice. I was happy to do it. The friend was totally pleasant and we had a nice chat.
At the end of the meeting, she asked me for my business card. I gave it to her but politely asked that she please not add me to any mass emails about the business. It didn't work.
Since that day, I've received four unsolicited emails promoting their "Grand opening," and all of them begin with "Dear Ladies." I'm either on a mass email list or I'm a lot more gender ambiguous than I thought I was. When the fourth email arrived today, I finally replied and asked to be removed from the list.
Was it worth it for her?
What did she get out of sending those unsolicited emails? What was her return on the risk given what transpired? And how will the friend who referred her feel if she finds out? Will she be inclined to help her again? Doesn't seem to me like it was worth it.
If you email somebody without permission, especially if you're doing so when you want something from the receiver, you run the risk of looking like a spammer. If you email the person more than once without permission, especially as part of a mass email, guess what–you are a spammer. And if you're good at your job, you deserve a better reputation than that.
PPS: In the "You can't make this stuff up" department, when I sent the email asking to be removed from her list, this is the screen that popped up: