An Inevitable Marriage
(Marketing and Email)
In the dim and dusty past, communication between distant parties, consisted of hand delivered epistles and required days, months or even years for delivery depending upon the distance. Advertising depended upon signs posted in front of businesses or word-of-mouth.
Then came the United States Postal Service….or at least it’s beginning when Governor William Penn established Pennsylvania’s first Post Office in 1683. Mail was delivered to far reaching territories by Pony Express later. On July 25, 1775, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin the first Post Master General and the system that we know as the United States Postal Service was born. Meanwhile, advertising still depended upon signs posted in front of businesses or word-of-mouth but now included newspaper advertising. These were one or two line advertisements usually.
Postal service all over the world slowly evolved and improved over time and through the use of technological advances as did advertising. In the late nineteenth century, when technological advances allowed, pictures and color could be included in print advertising.
The marriage of mail and advertising was inevitable. Mail reached the public and advertisers wanted to reach the public. Dirk Roos is credited with performing the ceremony, so to speak. Roos was made manager of McIntosh advertising in 1967 and immediately set about expanding the advertising department to include direct mail. Direct mail advertising quickly proved itself to be a much more effective means of advertising than newspaper advertising. The rest, as they say, is history. Roos is the root cause that we get all that junk mail in our snail mail boxes today.
The world, of course, doesn’t stand still and mail and advertising, like everything else, continued to evolve.
Advertising grew up and became known as ‘Marketing’ and marketing became a very big business. While advertising was growing up, mail seemed to be stuck in the dark ages. Not that it didn’t try to grow up. It did try. It grew wings and could fly around the world but it wasn’t fast enough to keep up with marketing.
The personal computer happened. The agreement between Bill Gates’ Microsoft and IBM is the stuff of history. That was the first joint venture in the history of the Internet and one of epic proportions.
The first email was sent by a computer engineer named Ray Tomlinson in November or December of 1971. The message is reported to have been “QWERTYUIOP” but Mr. Tomlinson disputes that report.
Email programs were among the very first Internet programs to be developed and they continue to grow, change and improve. Email is the single most used program on every personal computer in use today. Email is the first program that is accessed when a personal computer is started. Email is used a lot more frequently than any other program on every computer including search engines.
Email allows people instant access to communication. Marketers love instant access and communication is a marketers’ life blood. The marriage was inevitable.
The marriage of email and marketing has had a long an healthy relationship. It hasn’t, however, been without its problems. There are those who have abused the relationship and caused it pain and suffering. There were just too many marketing emails that were sent too often and personal computer users objected to opening their beloved email programs only to find them flooded with advertising, some of which was a bit ‘lacking in taste’ to put it mildly.
Do you remember back in the 1990’s when you opened your email and were faced with hundreds of advertisements every time? Many of these emails were not only tasteless but some of them contained viruses. It became the normal thing to just simply delete all email that was not from someone you knew personally and legitimate email marketers were the ones who suffered the most.
The problem of SPAM (unsolicited email) became so extreme that there was a public outcry that was so loud and so long that it was heard in Washington, DC. The CAN SPAM ACT was written and enacted in 2003 in response to the public outcry and it looked, for awhile, like email marketing was doomed.
However, the marriage of marketing and email survived the enactment of the CAN-SPAM ACT and the really savvy Internet marketers have turned what appeared to be a setback into an advantage.
What exactly is the CAN SPAM ACT? What are the provisions in it? What does it really mean to email marketers? Is the CAN SPAM ACT an advantage or is it really the disadvantage that it appears to be?
What is the CAN SPAM ACT?
The CAN SPAM ACT was enacted by Congress in 2003 and became the law of the land in January 2004. CAN SPAM is actually an anagram for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act.
The purpose of the act was and is to reduce the number of unsolicited emails that are sent. The act covers all of those who send email that has the primary purpose of advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on a Web site.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been charged with the enforcement of the CAN SPAM Act by the Consumer Protection Agency that is under its command. The Department of Justice has the right to impose fines, penalties and criminal sanctions against those who violate the provisions of the CAN SPAM Act.
The act defines SPAM as: “Unsolicited Bulk Email”. This is important and needs to be thought about carefully by those who do email marketing.
1. Unsolicited email is not SPAM.
2. Bulk email is not SPAM.
SPAM is the combination of unsolicited AND bulk email.
The content of email is not a defining factor of SPAM. The CAN SPAM Act does not define marketing emails as SPAM.
To email marketers what this means is that you can send BULK MARKETING EMAIL it just can’t be unsolicited…which means that you need the permission of the recipient to send it.
At first blush this seemed like a bad thing for email marketers but it has turned out to be a very good thing. Our marketing emails of old were lost among the hundreds of SPAM emails that were in the inboxes of our potential customers. Now we are able to send our marketing emails to our customers and potential customers and they are not only expected but they are read.
CAN SPAM Act Requirements and Penalties
The main requirements and provisions of the CAN SPAM Act are:
False or misleading header information is forbidden. An email’s “From,” “To,” and routing information, including the originating domain name and email address, must be accurate and identify the person who actually sent the email.
The subject line must be an accurate description of the material contained in the body of the email.
An opt-out method must be provided in every marketing email sent. The CAN SPAM Act is very specific on the matter of opt-out requirements. You must provide a return email address or another Internet based way in which those who wish to stop receiving emails from you can tell you so.
The law allows you 10 days to stop sending emails to a recipient who chooses to opt-out of your mailing list. Then you are not allowed to have someone else send emails to that person for your benefit. You cannot sell the email address of a person who opts out, either.
Commercial (marketing) email must be identified as such. You can’t use some kind of sneaky language trying to disguise a marketing email as a personal email. The notice that your message is a marketing email must be stated and that statement must be clear and conspicuous.
A marketing email is required to contain the physical or postal address of the sender.
The penalties for not meeting the above listed requirements are stiff. Fines for each infraction of the rules can be as high as $11,000. Imagine how much you could owe in fines if you sent out a few thousand marketing emails and failed to include an opt-out method or left off your postal address! That could be more than a tad costly so you need to know the law and then you need to abide by the law.
According to the Federal Trade Commission web site, additional penalties can be imposed:
“harvest” email addresses from Web sites or Web services that have published a notice prohibiting the transfer of email addresses for the purpose of sending email
generate email addresses using a “dictionary attack” – combining names, letters, or numbers into multiple permutations
use scripts or other automated ways to register for multiple email or user
accounts to send commercial email
relay emails through a computer or network without permission – for
example, by taking advantage of open relays or open proxies without authorization.
The law allows the DOJ to seek criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for commercial emailers who do – or conspire to: use another computer without authorization and send commercial email from or through it uses a computer to relay or retransmit multiple commercial email messages to deceive or mislead recipients or an Internet access service about the origin of the message falsify header information in multiple email messages and initiate the transmission of such messages register for multiple email accounts or domain names using information that falsifies the identity of the actual registrant falsely represent themselves as owners of multiple Internet Protocol addresses that are used to send commercial email messages.”
Additionally there are even more rules, regulations and penalties for sexually explicit marketing emails.
The world of email marketing is mostly made up honest of and decent men and women who are only trying to make a living by selling honest products and services to the public. However, just like every other segment of the population, there are those who bend and even break the law in the name of profit. They should be reported and punished. They are doing harm to all of us.
Evolution of Email Marketing
It’s always better to know where and how a practice started, where it was and where it is now to be better able to see where it is headed in the future.
“When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” These words were spoken by Hugh White. Hugh was a politician so it’s easy to see why he would rather leave his mistakes in the dust but what he says does make sense.
There really isn’t much that can be done about past mistakes except to recognize them as mistakes and try not to make the same ones more than once….unless you had a whole ton of fun! ☺ But email marketing mistakes weren’t any fun at all and we don’t want to make the same mistakes our predecessors did.
Most of the tactics for gathering email addresses that were used in the early days of email marketing are illegal today. At the time, however, they were the recognized ways in which email addresses were harvested.
Email marketers purchased lists of email addresses.
Email marketers visited websites and joined forums for the sole purpose of harvesting email addresses.
Email address lists could be rented.
Marketers freely exchanged emails that they had collected with other email marketers.
All of these tactics are now either completely illegal, border-line illegal or just plain ineffective in today’s market place.
As the Internet matured so, too, did Internet users. We have all learned that we should not easily part with any personal information on the Internet. The crooks got smarter so there was no choice but for honest people to get smarter, too.
Identity theft is a real issue for Internet users, hacking has been a problem since the get-go and there are those out there who get their jollies by creating viruses and worms. For these reasons, convincing Internet users that it is safe to give their information to a marketer has become more difficult.
The difficulty of convincing Internet users to give their names and email addresses to legitimate email marketers looks like a big problem on the surface but it could be that it is a blessing in disguise because when a user does supply an email marketer with his or her email address it means that they really are a prospective costumer and interested in the products or services that are being offered.
Email marketers today recognize that there are real live people behind each and every email address on their lists and that each one is on the list only because they want to be on the list and not because someone swiped their email addresses when they weren’t looking.
The email marketing practices of old send a ton of emails out every single day. There was people employed full time that did nothing but send out SPAM. The problem was that SPAM was an ineffective selling tool. It got deleted…unopened and unread…it was sent to the deleted mail file.
There aren’t near as many marketing emails sent each day now…at least not legal ones but they are considerably more effective than the emails of old. Now days the recipients of marketing emails actually open the emails, read them and even act on the content.
Those of us who do email marketing for a living continue to learn from past mistakes. Today’s marketing emails are a lot more effective because of the things that we have learned from past mistakes.
We learned about the notoriously short attention spans of email recipients!
Past marketing emails were long….up to 1200 words
Today’s marketing emails are never longer that 300-400 words.
We learned that our readers don’t READ they scan:
Past marketing emails consisted of many long paragraphs with a lot of words in each one.
Today’s marketing emails make use of bullet points and high lighting. The paragraphs and the sentences are short.
We learned that all email programs aren’t alike.
Past marketing emails were usually sent using HTML settings.
Today’s marketing emails are sent using formatting that every email program can read
Building an Opt-In List
I was in a little convenience store the other day and I saw a sign posted on the cash register. It said something like, “We strive to always be kind, polite, helpful, patient, and courteous. However, it is hard to remember that the object is to drain the swamp when you are up to your behind (cleaned up ☺) in alligators.” I laughed of course, but it occurred to me that list building could be described the same way.
Email marketers are busy people. There are alligators at every turn. It’s hard to remember sometimes that without our lists we wouldn’t have a business at all and that list building really is our version of draining the swamp. We really do need to concentrate on draining the swamp and spend less time worrying about the alligators.
There are many opt-in list building techniques that can be used. Some of these techniques you may be familiar with. Others might be ones that you have never thought about.
Working hard at building your opt-in list and using all of the techniques that we will discuss here won’t guarantee your success at email marketing but not working hard at building your opt-in list and not applying everything you can learn to it will most certainly guarantee your failure.
These opt-in list building techniques can be applied to any kind of online business venture. Some kinds of Internet businesses aren’t as dependent upon email as email marketers but all kinds of Internet businesses can profit greatly from an opt-in list that is made up of those who have already made purchases and those who have shown an interest in the products and services being sold by adding their names to an opt-in list.
The opt-in list building techniques that we will be discussing here will include:
Article writing and marketing.
Posting to blogs and forums.
Writing and marketing ebooks.
Encouraging your list to add to itself.
Joint Venture Give-a-ways
Seminars and Webinars
Viral marketing techniques
A newsletter is not the same as the marketing emails that you send announcing products and services that you are promoting, although you can promote them in your newsletter if you want to do so. The purpose of a newsletter is to stay in contact with your customers and potential customers by providing them with information related to your central topic and to build trust between yourself and your customer base. A newsletter will help you build your opt-in list, of course, but even more importantly it will build your credibility in the eyes of your customers and potential customers.
If you are not already publishing a newsletter, you need to start….yesterday. The easiest place to start getting an opt-in list for receiving your newsletter is right on your own ‘thank you’ page.
Your ‘thank you’ page is the obvious starting point because those who land on your thank-you page have just made a purchase. They are happy about what they have seen and they are in the mood right then to see what else you may have to offer or what information you can provide them with.
The thank-you page is the most obvious starting point and, most likely, the one where you will get your first subscription but that isn’t to say it should be the only place on your site where there is an opt-in box for your newsletter. On the contrary; there should be a subscription opt-in box on every single page of your website.
Newsletters are the best way for you to stay in touch with your customers, as well as, to stay in contact with your potential customers and you should never leave those bucks lying on the table.
So, you ask, what exactly IS a newsletter? According the Learning Tech, a newsletter is: “A newsletter is a periodic publication by e-mail put out only to those people who subscribe to it. The purpose of a newsletter is to provide highly specialized information to a highly targeted audience.”
The key words in those two sentences are ‘publication’, ‘subscribe’, ‘information’ and ‘targeted audience’.
First, let’s discuss just how often you should publish a newsletter. You have several options here.
1. You could publish your newsletter once a month. In this case you would need to have at least five related articles included in it and it would need to be more than one page long.
Remember that short attention span that we have discussed before? It is true that your customers have a short attention span. It is also true that they have even shorter memories. While it is true that a monthly newsletter would be a lot easier for you to publish, it is the least favorable of all the available publishing schedules available and not one that is recommended.
2. On the opposite end of the possibility spectrum, you could really get enthusiastic and publish a daily news letter. I know it is tempting to stay in constant contact with your potential customers but a daily newsletter publication isn’t a very good idea for two reasons.
The first reason is that it would be way to much work for you. Getting a newsletter ready for publication is a bit time consuming and not a task that you would want to be required of you every day.
The second reason is that your subscribers will be using that opt-out option frequently. Nobody wants that much mail in their in-boxes every single day. Believe it or not, your customers actually have lives that have nothing to do with buying from you. ☺
3. Bi-weekly publication of your newsletter is a good publishing schedule choice and one you and your customers can live with. If you were publishing an ezine, it would be the best choice but it isn’t the best choice for publish a newsletter. *See choice #4.
4. You guessed it! A weekly publishing schedule for a newsletter is the best of all publishing schedule choices. It is a schedule that won’t overwhelm you or your subscribers. Weekly is often enough to keep you on your customer’s radar screens but not so often that you become an annoyance to them.
Uh oh! What if you are already publishing a newsletter and you have established a publishing schedule other than weekly? It is never a good thing to change an established publishing schedule for those who have already subscribed to your newsletter, of course, but it can be done almost painlessly and without any ruffled feathers if you do it wisely. A gradual change is better than a sudden and shocking change. Announce your schedule change as much as two months in
advance. If you are providing good, relevant and helpful information, your list will forgive you and may even be welcoming of the change.
So, just how long should this weekly newsletter be? Ah, now there is the beauty of a weekly newsletter. Newsletters that are published less frequently than weekly would need to be two or three pages long but those that are published weekly only need to be one page long. You can concentrate on one narrow sub topic in each newsletter rather than covering a broader spectrum of your topic. This gives you the opportunity to give more concentrated and thus more valuable information in each publication.
Now that we have established a publishing schedule and length the next question is what the content of your newsletter should be. Remember that a newsletter and a marketing email are two different animals. We will discuss what makes an effective marketing email in Chapter IX of this ebook. For now we need to focus on newsletter content.
Your weekly newsletter needs to contain one article that focuses on a narrow subtopic of your general topic. For example: if your email marketing enterprise focuses on pet care products in general, a sub-topic might be flea control, cold weather animal care, or cat trees. The article needs to relate to products and/or services that you promote but the main purpose of the article is not to sell products or services but to provide information to your subscribers.
You might include a weekly calendar in your weekly newsletter that shows any upcoming events related to your topic. This calendar can also acknowledge holidays that fall within the week.
Use your imagination to fill one page with information that will be helpful to your targeted audience. Just remember that the more narrow your focus, the more helpful and in-depth the information that you supply should be.
Most companies that provide autoresponders have newsletter templates available that will help you make your news letter readable in all email programs. Make use of them, as well as, any newsletter instructions that the autoresponder company provides.
The best newsletters are:
a) published weekly,
b) are only one page long,
c) contain one article that is focused narrowly.
Article Writing and Marketing
Those who own websites and those who publish ezines will tell you that finding good articles that will do more than fill space on websites and space in ezines are not all that easy to find.
Articles that are well written and that actually provide helpful information that is presented in an interesting manner are in short supply even though article banks are filled with space-filling articles.
If you really are an expert on the general topic of your email marketing enterprise and if you have any writing ability at all, you can write, or learn to write, articles that you can use in your newsletter and submit to article banks for other website owners and ezine publisher to download and reproduce.
If, on the other hand, you are an expert but don’t want to or feel incapable of writing articles, all is not lost. You can have articles written for you by a ghost writer or a ghost writing service. One such service can be found at http://www.writingandtranscriptionservices.com but there are many other such services available all over the Internet. All you need do to find them is to type in the words, “ghost writing service” into the search box of your favorite search engine.
*A note about using a ghost writer. They are not mind readers, they are writers. The more information you give them about exactly what you are looking for in articles that you are having written, the more likely you are to get exactly the kind of articles that you want. Be specific when you engage the services of a ghost writer.
Once you have paid a ghost writer to produce articles for you, they belong to you. You can claim them as your own and even copyright them if you want to. You can submit them to article banks for the purpose of building your opt-in list and, thus, your email marketing business.
Whether you write the articles that you will submit to article banks yourself or have them written for you, you need to know what constitutes a good and marketable article.
The title of an article is the first and possibly the most important part of a
marketable article. It is imperative that the title contain relative key words and be attention getting at the same time. This is, of course, easier said than done.
In years gone by, people actually carefully read information but we live in a world that has grown accustomed to 10 second sound bites. We read
headlines and unless they convince us to keep reading, we move on to the next headline.
The first line of the first paragraph of a marketable article must be almost as attention getting as the title of the article.
The first paragraph must contain the most important piece of information in the article People do not read articles…people scan articles. If you can’t get their attention with the headline or title, hold it through the first sentence and on through the first paragraph, the article is useless.
A marketable article will be short…no more than 300-400 words. The
same short attention span reasoning applies.
A marketable article must be key-word rich but key words can’t be used
out of context or simply used without reason.
The resource box is the most important part of a marketable article to
YOU. This is where you get to insert information about yourself and your website that is designed to drive traffic which will enhance your opt in list which will build your email marketing business.
NOTE! SPELLING AND GRAMMAR COUNT! Double check both…twice. If you are in any doubt, have someone you know to be knowledgeable to check spelling and grammar for you. Spell check and even the tools in Microsoft Word only tell you if a word is spelled correctly or is a comma is in the right place. They won’t tell you that you have used ‘there’ when you should have used ‘their’ or ‘your’ when you should have used ‘you’re’.
The ‘writing’ part of ‘writing and submitting articles’ is the hard part. Articles must meet the above criteria so that they will, in fact, be reproduced on other websites and in ezines.
The ‘submitting’ part of writing and submitting articles’ is a piece of cake. It is, however, a time consuming piece of cake.
There are more article banks and article repositories on the Internet than one can imagine and you never know which one of these banks or repositories that other website owners or ezine publishers will search to find articles they will reproduce so you need to submit your articles to as many of them as you possibly can.
There are Internet businesses whose only business is article submission. That’s what they do. They do charge for this service, of course. Here are two of the better know services. They are not the only ones:
There is submission software that you can purchase, as well. We do not recommend the use of submission software, however. Many of the top article banks and article repositories do not accept automated submission.
Or if you have more time than money (you most likely don’t have enough of either), you can submit articles yourself. The submission of articles to article banks and repositories is a time intensive task. There aren’t any shortcuts.
Articles must be submitted according to the directions and requirements of each individual bank or repository. Each one has a different procedure and the directions must be adhered to.
You can easily find article banks and article repositories by using your favorite search engine and typing the words, ‘article banks’ into the search box. You simply methodically go down these lists of banks and repositories and submit your article according to the directions of each.
Posting to Blogs and Forums
The Internet is a great unifier. It brings people together who are like-minded or who hold similar interests like Internet marketing, scuba diving, pet care, etc. Blogs and forums are the Internet sites where people gather to discuss topics that run the spectrum of human interest and concern. There are blogs and forums dedicated to every topic that you can imagine.
There are blogs and forums that are dedicated to topics that relate to the products and services that your email marketing business sells. They are not the least bit hard to find. All you need to do is go to your favorite search engine and type in the key words related to your products or services followed by the words, ‘blogs’ or ‘forums’. You will get a lot of hits no matter what key words you used.
Visit the sites that were generated on your search. You may only want to visit the top 10 search results. Keep in mind that blog and forum posting is time consuming so limit your choices to the sites that have the most active posters and topics that are most closely related to your products or services.
Join the sites. Sometimes you must be approved to become a member of forums or blogs. Sometimes there is even a small fee attached that allows you to post to them. If the blog or forum is very active and has a great number of posters, this small fee will be money well spent.
Do not join a blog or forum and immediately start posting blatant advertisements. If you do that, the odds are that you will be asked to leave or even thrown unceremoniously out on your ear by the administrator.
Think of joining a blog or a forum as you would think of moving into a new neighborhood. You need to get to know you neighbors (other posters). You need to get to know who each one is and what the relationships are between them.
This information will keep you from inserting your foot into your mouth. The best thing to do is to read and respond to what others post rather than initiating a conversation yourself in the beginning. As you become better acquainted with the other members of the forum or the other blog posters you will be able to initiate conversations yourself.
The most important thing about posting to blogs and forums for you and your purpose of building your opt-in list and your email marketing business is your signature tag.
It is generally acceptable to use a signature tag when posting to forums and blogs. This signature tag should contain your name, as well as, your URL.
The other members of the forum or the blog posters will most likely visit your website. Curiosity is a common personality trait. When they visit the first time, they may not make a purchase and they probably won’t opt-in to your mailing list either but as they get to know you better and after you prove your expertise about whatever the topic is, they will do both.
Now, let’s talk about what you will actually post to these blogs and forums. First be aware that you should never use articles that you have published on your website or articles that you have submitted to article banks as blog or forum posts.
There are several reasons for this but the most important one is that if the search engine spiders find an article used on more than one website, they call the first one they find the original. It may not actually BE the original but that is what the
spiders will call it. All of the others that are found will be called duplicate content and that is not a good thing.
You must not use articles as blog or forum posts and the opposite is also true. You must not use blog or forum posts as articles.
You should post to each blog and forum that you are a member of a minimum of three times a week and every day would be better. (I told you this was time consuming.)
You may, of course, make these posts yourself or you can have ghost writers write blog and forum posts for you. The only thing you have to do if you have your posts written is to copy and paste them and add your signature tag.
Your posts need to be thoughtfully written and they should certainly reply to any direct questions that have been asked. Eventually you will be able to promote your own products or services that would be of help to the other members of the forum or blog posters but these products and services should never be presented as an advertisement but rather as a helpful problem solution for a friend.
All blog and forum communities have a set of rules that the members are expected to abide by. You need to read these rules and see to it that you stay in full compliance.
Writing and Marketing E-books
The writing and marketing of ebooks is very similar in many respects to the writing and marketing of articles. The purpose is identical. You want to drive more traffic to your website, enlarge your opt-in list and increase your email marketing business.
You should always think of articles and ebooks as advertisements in disguise because that is exactly what they are.
You can scroll back to page 16 of this ebook for information that is a little more in depth but here are the basics of writing and marketing an ebook:
1. The title must contain key words and it must be attention getting.
2. An ebook that is to be marketed should be no less than 10 pages and no more than 15 pages long.
3. Your URL should appear on every page of the ebook.
E-Mail Marketing Secrets © Doug Champigny. All Rights Reserved 21
E-Mail Marketing Basics
4. If you use links that are word wrapped, you should also include the same ones that are not word wrapped.
5. Your resource box should contain your full name, as well as, your website address and contact information.
It is better to narrow the subject of an ebook that you will market. The more narrow the subtopic that you address, the more in-depth your information can be. In depth information makes an ebook much more desirable to other website owners and ezine publishers than generalized information.
Your ebook should be key word rich but you should never use key words just so you can get more of them stuck in somewhere. They need to be grammatically correct and they need to make sense within the context. Key word listing for the sake of using the key words is a ploy that is well recognized by search engine spiders not to mention website owners, ezine publishers and ebook readers. It won’t work…don’t do it.
Submitting ebooks to ebook banks and repositories is done in exactly the same way that article submissions are done except to different entities.
*See pages 17 and 18 of this ebook for more details about submitting your ebook. The highlights are:
1. Do submissions yourself.
2. Hire a submissions company to do them for you.
3. We do not recommend the use of automated submission software.
Encouraging Your List to Multiply Itself
It doesn’t matter much what you are talking about doing, there are usually easy ways and hard ways to do most everything under the sun. List building is not any different. One of the easiest ways there is to enlarge your opt-in list is to let your list to do it for you.
You can make your list self-propagating with a little encouragement.
First you need to understand the basic human quality of wanting to know what others need or want to know and knowing it first. This most likely started with a cave man knowing where the most fertile hunting grounds were. ☺
Not only do people like to know and know first, but they really want others to know that they know. This isn’t a man thing or a woman thing…it is a human thing. It’s not limited by race, sex or religion. It is not bordered by mountains or
rivers. It’s a quality that, once it is understood, can be used to build an opt-in list and thus build an email marketing business.
There are at least three ways to make your list multiply itself.
The first way is to openly encourage the sharing of information and, at the same time, making it personally profitable to your list members to do so. For example; you might include in your next newsletter an offer for a discount on a product being offered in exchange for members recommending your list to others if those recommendations do, in fact, sign up for your list.
This is NOT MLM (Multi-level-marketing, which is illegal). Don’t let anybody tell you it is. The members of your list will be selling nothing. The only profit they will ever make is a discount on a product they purchase. The only direct profit you will make is an addition to your mailing list. MLM refers to percentages of profits being filtered down through layers of participants.
The second way of making your list multiply itself is to offer a coupon for a discount on a product being offered that the members of your list can pass on to their friends and relatives. This will give the members of your list the opportunity to look good in the eyes of others….the old knowing and knowing first thing in operation with an added incentive.
The third way is an old viral advertising trick. You include something in your newsletter that is so funny, interesting or rare that the members of your list want to share it with everybody they know. You always give permission for sharing, of course, but this kind of thing will make them want to share.
For example: I had a newsletter forwarded to me just the other day by a friend. The newsletter said, “You may be eligible for a tax refund!” (Now who wouldn’t find out what that was all about?) There was a link provided. It was a cat laughing and shouting, “You think you are eligible for WHAT?” Was it silly? Yes. Was it effective? Yes! Did I pass it on? You bet! I even visited the website where the newsletter was generated and I did join their opt-in mailing list.
Joint ventures are one of the best opt-in list building opportunities available anywhere. It isn’t all that easy to get joint venture partners but the effort will be well worth the time and effort it requires.
You should most likely build your opt-in list to a respective number before you attempt to get joint venture partners. Opt-in lists are part of the attraction between joint venture partners.
The first thing that you need to enter into a joint venture is a product. This product needs to have value. If it is an e-book it needs to be at least a hundred pages long. If it is a video, it needs to be at least 90 minutes long. If it is audio tapes, they need to be a series that can be sold for at least $50 to $100 dollars. The reason your product needs to have so much value is that it is difficult as best to get join venture partners to join you to promote a product that will sell for less that $50….and that is a bottom basement price.
You can write the ebook, make the video or record the audio tapes yourself or you can hire people to do any of the above for you. Just remember that this product needs to have real value.
If you are planning to use your joint venture for the purpose of list building to expand your email marketing business, you might well consider the possibility of letting your joint venture partners take 100% of the monetary profit while your take is only adding to your list.
If you really can’t see giving away all of the profit of your product, at least offer a substantial profit percentage in order to get joint venture partners that have lists long enough to be of use to you.
Structure the agreement so that you gain access to every name and email address of every person who purchases the product from each and every joint venture partner. In this way you will increase your list exponentially and in a very short period of time.
Joint Venture Give-a-ways
Joint venture give-a-ways are virtual gold mines of list building opportunities. Joint venture give-a-ways happen all through the year but they happen most frequently between the first week of October and the middle of December. (‘Tis the season to be jolly and all that stuff.) People are ready to shop. All Internet marketers know this, as do all brick and mortar businesses.
Internet marketers and email marketers who have totally unrelated products and services will join together and send their lists offers for all sorts of free products and services.
You see, people are not one-dimensional. They may be on lists for products and services that are related to their businesses but they also have spouses, kids, pets, and hobbies that aren’t in any way related to the lists they belong to. The same person who would be interested in an ebook about hidden tax advantages might also be interested in an ebook about how to buy a guitar if his kid has asked for one for Christmas.
The idea is to spread sunshine and good will while each member of a joint venture give-a-way builds his opt-in list. It is a really cool list building technique that is more than a little effective.
You can find joint venture give-a-way opportunities by using your favorite search engine and typing ‘joint venture give-a-ways’ into the search box. Most of the opportunities, however, are by word-of-mouth advertising.
It is important that the free gift that you offer in a joint venture give-a-way be one that:
Requires the user to visit your website
Requires the user to provide his name and email address
Additionally, there should be an opt-in box for the user to subscribe to your newsletter on the free gift down-load page.
There are many such joint give-a-way ventures available. They don’t cost you anything to join but usually the number of participants is limited by the organizer of the joint venture give-a-way and he or she usually has the final say about who can join in the project. The object is always to have a variety of product and service give-a-way offers.
It always amazing how many otherwise really savvy Internet and email marketers just plain overlook the power of print and video/audio news. Both really do not only live but thrive out in the brick and mortar world. Even people who are computer experts read newspapers and watch and listen to news broadcasts. Print and audio/video news reaches as many people as the news that is on the Internet. It’s true!
We all know how important it is to build our contact lists by social networking and attending business related seminars, etc. We build those lists without even thinking about WHY we should. We build them because we instinctively know how important they are. We totally overlook the importance of a media contacts list. I wonder why that is?
If you don’t have a media contacts list, it is time that you build one. The contacts on this list should include people who are:
1. Associated with radio & TV shows
2. Those who contribute articles to newspapers or magazines. 3. Newspaper reporters.
4. Those who have any connection with related trade publications. 5. Article syndicators.
Start at the local level and work your way up. Everybody knows somebody and you need to know all of them…even more importantly they need to know you.
Do not try to introduce yourself to these valuable media contacts by telephoning them. That doesn’t work. Media types are busy people and most likely your phone call would be an unwelcome interruption.
The thing to do is the email them. Introduce yourself. Tell them that you read their column, listen to their broadcast or whatever. Never include an attachment in your introductory email. The email, if it gets through to them, will be deleted unopened.
Building any kind of relationship takes time and effort. Building relationships with people in the media can be some of the most valuable of the time you spend because they are in a position to give you a leg up in building your list as well as advertising your products and services.
After you have established at least a nodding relationship with some media people, you can send them press releases and have a fair shot at getting them published.
You can use a press release to announce the launch of a new product that you will be marketing by email. In a press release you have the opportunity to extol all of the virtues of a new product. In effect, you can get a lot of free advertising in the news media that is not considered ‘advertising’ but rather ‘news’. Your website address will be made a part of the ‘press release’ of course.
Press releases that you send to your media contact list must be in the correct form. If they aren’t correctly formatted, they will be deleted. Newspapers have all of that lovely blank paper to cover every single day. Radio and TV have all those air ways that must be filled with something.
If you have taken the time to form some media contacts and if you format your press release correctly, some of that blank space can be filled with your press release. You will increase traffic on your website, increase your opt-in list, and, thus, build your email marketing business.
The following is the correct form for a press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Your full name
Your mailing address
Your city, State and zip code
Your telephone number
Insert a headline here in bold type. Today your company name announced the release of a revolutionary software program
City, State—Month, Day, Year—And begin your announcement. Use the most important fact first. The entire first paragraph should contain every piece of important information concerning the product launch.
Use the second and third paragraphs to elaborate on the details in the first paragraph.
A press release should be no less than 600 words but it may be longer. At the end of your press release you do not use ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Best Regards’…that would turn it into an email. This is a press release. So you end it:
For information: email@example.com
Contact: Your telephone number including the area code Your cell phone number if you have one
# # #
All press releases end with the three number symbols centered at the bottom of the release.
Teleseminars and Webinars
Some people confuse the terms ‘teleseminar’ and ‘webinar’. They are similar but they aren’t the same.
A teleseminar is conducted on the telephone only. The participants don’t need to be sitting in front of their computers in order to participate in a teleseminar. A teleseminar is only audio.
A webinar, on the other hand, is conducted on the Internet. The participants must be sitting in front of their computers but a telephone is most often used as well. A webinar is audio and video.
As an email marketer you are in the perfect position to make full use of either a teleseminar or a webinar for the purpose of building your opt-in list, as well as, your email marketing business.
Teleseminars and webinars can both be used as ‘stand alone’ products or as a freebie attached to another product. In either case, marketing is done in exactly the same way as for any other product that you are promoting. For more information on Teleseminars & Webinars, download this Free Guide.
There are two major misconceptions about webinars and teleseminars. The first is that they are very expensive to produce and the second is that they are very difficult to produce.
A teleseminar can be done at no cost whatsoever for the actual event. The cost of a webinar varies greatly depending upon what tools you require but even the most expensive of webinars only cost a few hundred dollars. For a one-month Free Trial, you can host unlimited Webinars here.
First and foremost you must have a topic that will be of interest to the members of your list and/or to the members of any joint venture partners’ lists. People will not waste their time and certainly not their money to hear or see information that is just old news. They will spend their time and even their money to hear people
who are well-known or those that are considered gurus in their niche market. The response that you get to your announcement of a webinar or teleseminar depends mostly upon two things:
🕘 The topic of the event
🕘 Who will present the information
The tools that are needed to produce a teleseminar or a webinar are basically the same except that the production of a webinar will require an electronic presentation of some kind and a method of delivering that electronic presentation to the participants. The tools required for either event are:
🕘 A bridge line: You can get either free or paid for bridge lines. One good free bridge line service can be found at: www.freeconference.com The
service is free for up to 100 participants. There will be an additional fee for more than 100 users.
🕘 You will most likely want a recording of a teleseminar or a webinar. Recordings are not free unless you can do them yourself. The cost of a recording is 10¢ per minute per person. You are supplied with an MP3 recording that you can download. These recordings are another product for you to promote.
🕘 You might also want a transcription of the call. Transcriptions become a separate product. Having a call transcribed will cost you a few bucks. The cost of transcriptions is based upon the length of the call and the number of speakers. There are many transcription services advertised on the Internet. We recommend:
Writing and Transcription Services
🕘 You will need an autoresponder that is set up specifically for the event. We will discuss autoresponder in more depth in Chapter VII.
🕘 You will need a squeeze page set up specifically for the event as well. If you can build any webpage, you can build a squeeze page. The object of the squeeze page is to entice visitors to sign up for your webinar or teleseminar. The basics to remember about a squeeze page are:
a) Make is short…ONE PAGE! NO SCROLL BAR!
b) The Opt-in box should be placed in the upper left hand corner or to the left or right of center. An opt-in box should never be placed at the bottom.
c) Include a privacy statement that promises never to share information with third parties.
A link exchange with another website that sells products and services that are complimentary to but not the same as the products and services you sell can be a very helpful opt-in list building tool.
Some email marketers object to link exchanges. They say that link exchanges create two-way traffic and that one should never send traffic away from their own website. However, while you may well send traffic away from your site, someone else is sending traffic toward your site. It does balance out if the business that you exchange links with has an equal or better PR than yours.
Finding link exchange partners can be a bit time consuming but the benefits of a link exchange can make the time and effort worthwhile. You can find link exchange partners in one of three ways:
1. Manually: This is done by plugging your key words into a search engine and manually locating the businesses that search results will supply. You must visit each website to determine what products and services are being sold; decide which would be complimentary to the products and services you sell; contact the webmasters or site owners and make a link exchange offer.
This is a time consuming task but it is far and away the best method of finding the best link exchange partners.
2. Use Link Exchange Directories: You can find many directories on the Internet that list Internet businesses that want to enter into link exchange agreements with other website owners. Be warned! Before you enter into a link exchange agreement, visit the website. Determine what their PR is. Proceed with care.
3. Use link exchange software: This isn’t a solution that we recommend. If you decide to use it, however, don’t let the software send link exchange invitations for you. You will still need to do that task yourself.
Link exchanges can become very effective list-building tools and email marketing business builders.
Viral Marketing Techniques
All of the above list-building techniques are by nature viral marketing techniques. The objective of all of them is to get others to pass the word along about your email marketing business and your related newsletter. That is what viral marketing is.
Here are a few additional viral marketing techniques that you can use on your website now to help build your list and your email marketing business.
🕘 Set up an affiliate marketing program that encourages other sites to link to your site. Even a little monetary incentive can cause some sites to link to your site.
🕘 Add tell-a-friend software to your site. This software is easily installed and it makes it easy for your website visitors to recommend your website or a particular product or service to their friends, relatives, and co-workers.
There are several sites that provide this service. One of the better ones can be found at
🕘 Add email or greeting card capability to your site. Of course, you can’t compete with the big greeting card services but you can have a few cards that carry your logo installed on your site fairly easily.
🕘 Add a free digital game or utility download that carries your marketing message. People love even simple games and any free utility is good. Make it easy for your visitors to tell others about the game or utility that you are giving away.
🕘 Add quizzes or surveys to your newsletter with answers posted on your website. People will take quizzes and fill out survey forms just for the fun of it. Set the quiz or survey up so that it can be easily shared by your website visitors.
Summary: there are many ways to build an opt-in list that will serve you well. Some opt-in list-building techniques that are proven to work best for email marketers are:
🕘 Article writing and marketing.
🕘 Posting to blogs and forums.
🕘 Writing and marketing ebooks.
🕘 Encouraging your list to add to itself.
🕘 Joint Ventures
🕘 Joint Venture Give-a-ways
🕘 Press Releases
🕘 Seminars and Webinars
🕘 Link Exchanges
🕘 Viral marketing techniques
The building of an opt-in list is an ongoing task that is never completed. Opt-in list building should be at the top of your daily ‘to-do list.
Buying an Opt-In List
Okay, you read every word of Chapter V and you are thinking, “There has to be an easier way!” You are right. There is, in fact, an easier way to acquire an opt-in list but it may not be one that you choose to take after you find out all of the facts about buying or renting an opt-in list.
Before you decide to buy yourself an opt-in list, let’s talk this thing over. First of all; What exactly is an opt-in list for? It’s supposed to be a list of your customers and your potential customers. It is supposed to be a list of the people that are most likely to buy the products and services that you are selling. That is the clear objective of an opt-in list.
A list of people who allegedly agreed to receive email from you but who are neither your customers nor your potential customers is still an opt-in list, of course, it’s just not an effective opt-in list.
The good news is that if you buy or rent opt-in lists from list building services, you will not be violating the CAN-SPAM act….right? Well, maybe and maybe not. Read on.
Opt-in lists can be bought or rented that are either single opt-in lists or double opt-in lists. What this means is that the people who are listed on the list have opted in once or they have had to opt-in twice to be included on the list.
The prices charged for opt-in lists vary but, in general, the price per name and email address for single opt-in lists are about 5-10¢, while the, so called, double opt-in lists are about 35¢ per name and email address.
The thing is, YOU don’t have permission to send email to the names and addresses of an opt-in or even double opt-in lists. The permission to send email was given to someone else. You were not given permission by the recipients of the email you will send to send email to their inboxes and technically this is SPAMMING.
If you were reported as sending SPAM, you will have more trouble than you ever bargained for. Your ISP could prevent you from sending any email at all. You
could well be subject to the fines and penalties outlined in the CAN SPAM Act as well.
Honestly, I don’t believe that there is any such animal as a confirmed opt-in email list that you can buy or rent. The very term, ‘opt-in’ means that a person gives YOU permission to send email to them. It doesn’t mean that they gave your neighbor, your best friend, or your significant other to send email to their inbox. It certainly doesn’t mean that they gave some company the right to pass the permission on to third parties (you).
There’s more. Think about who exactly would give permission to a company to sell or rent their email addresses. The thought crosses my mind that spam traps, anti-spam organizations, hackers, identity thieves, and other less-than-honest creeps would be glad to give that permission. But, I don’t personally know one soul who would willingly or knowingly give permission for their email addresses to be put on a list and sold. Do you?
So let’s review:
🕘 The lists that are bought or rented are generally filled with useless names and email addresses that will be of little or no use to you.
🕘 It is possible that email that you send to people at addresses that you have bought or rented could report you as a Spammer…or worse.
Buying or renting opt-in lists might sound easy but it isn’t smart.
Building a targeted opt-in list yourself from scratch is one of the hardest and most time consuming tasks of running an email marketing business. I couldn’t agree more. It most certainly is that.
A targeted opt-in list that you have built yourself is also the lifeblood of your email marketing business. It is an asset that is more valuable than the money in your bank account.
The email marketing business is more dependent upon mass emailing than any other kind of Internet business. Mass emailing depends upon an autoresponder.
The autoresponder that you choose will have a direct impact upon just how effective your mass emailing are. If they aren’t sent, they won’t do you any good at all, will they? If they are sent late, they will be of little use, as well.
With only a little effort you can find free autoresponders. There are, however, at least three problems with the free ones. One problem is that there is advertising on every email that is sent for the autoresponder company. That doesn’t look very professional on your part.
Another reason that free autoresponders aren’t the best choice is that they are sometimes turtle slow in actually sending your emails. That won’t reflect well on you or your business either.
The third reason that free autoresponders are not first choice is that they most often only provide you with one autoresponder. Unless you are selling only one product, this isn’t very practical.
You can just as easily find paid for autoresponders on the Internet. All of them are not created equally, of course, but the good ones all have a few features in common. Two good autoresponder providers we use ourselves are:
Hosting 4 Marketers
They will all:
🕘 Have a personalization feature
🕘 Provide multiple autoresponders
🕘 Have tracking capabilities
🕘 Have click tracking capabilities
🕘 Provide reports on each campaign
Subscribing to an autoresponder service will cost you in the neighborhood of $20 a month. Not a bad price for something that is going to work so hard for you!
Each autoresponder provider has a slightly different set of instructions to install the autoresponder on your website. We won’t try to go into the details of installation here for that reason. You simply must carefully read and follow installation instructions. Autoresponders are not difficult to install.
In addition to reading and following installation instructions, you need to read other information that is provided on the autoresponder website. You will find instructions for using the special features….those are important. Do not SCAN…READ and read carefully.
You will also find tips for using your autoresponder most effectively and you will find a FAQ section, as well. It is in your best interest to read and understand all of this information.
Let’s now discuss some of the special features that your autoresponder offers:
🕘 The personalization feature is a biggie. Think about how you react and respond (or NOT respond) to snail mail that is delivered to your house addressed to ‘resident’…..they go in the ‘round’ file unopened, right? The same thing will happen to email that you send with a salutation of ‘Dear Friend’ or ‘Dear Customer’. They will meet their fate and their doom at the hands of the delete button. The personalization feature of your autoresponder will allow you to address your customers and your potential customers by name. Learn how to use it.
🕘 The click tracking feature is another goodie. With this feature you can see which, if any, of the links that you included in your marketing email were clicked on. This information can help you to write better marketing emails. It can tell you what works and what doesn’t work.
🕘 You can log into your account after you send a marketing email and using the tracking feature, you can tell how many opt-ins you got after it was sent, how many times a link was clicked on and whether those clicks translated into actual sales. You can also see how many opt-outs an email produced. Sadly, sometimes we learn from our mistakes.
Once you have your autoresponder set up and can send emails with it, you will need to set up your opt-in boxes on your website. Your autoresponder provider will give you instructions and the necessary codes to accomplish this. Follow their instructions and this advice:
1. The position of your opt-in boxes on your pages is an important factor. Remember that people are not looking for opt-in boxes. They won’t go to one bit of trouble to find them on your site. Internet surfers are an impatient lot, as well. You’ve got less than 30 seconds to convince them to opt-into your list. Another factor to consider is that Internet surfers do not READ they SCAN text. For these reasons, your opt-in boxes need to always be:
🕘 Placed ‘above the fold’….that is above the scroll line.
🕘 Placed in either the upper left hand corner of your home page or to the left or right of center and still above the scroll line. This is called the fly-in box.
🕘 Placed on every page of your website in the above listed positions. These are called ‘static’ boxes.
🕘 Have a prominent non-disclosure statement included in them. (i.e. We will not share or sell your information with third parties.)
Okay, now that you have your autoresponder installed and have your opt-in boxes all set up on your pages, let’s move on to the email messages that you will send using your autoresponder.
🕘 Your autoresponder provider will have specific instructions for formatting emails that you send posted. We will discuss formatting in the next chapter. For now, just be aware that correct formatting is extremely important.
🕘 Don’t ‘beat around the bush’, as Granny used to say. The marketing emails that you send need to covey the message that you intend for them to convey and they need to do it quickly. They need to say precisely and exactly what you intend to say. You should never use vague terms like ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’. Use direct statements that cannot be misread. Never build up to a big finish. Start with the most important information first.
🕘 Spelling counts and so does grammar. It is important that all of the words in your email are spelled correctly. Almost everybody has a spell check of some kind on their computers and they are great but you shouldn’t rely on them to check for anything more than spelling. Take this sentence for example:
“Your going to be amazed by there ease of use.”
Spell check has no problem with that sentence but it has two glaring errors that most people with a 10th grade education would see right away. The first error is the first word. ‘Your’ is a possessive pronoun. The word that was needed is, ‘you’re’ which is a contraction that means ‘you are’.
The second error is the word, ‘there’. ‘There’ is an adverb that designates a place (there as opposed to here). The word that was needed was ‘their’ which is a possessive pronoun.
Although spell check approved of the above sentence it is wrong. The sentence should have read:
“You’re going to be amazed by their ease of use.”
That was a grammar lesson that you might have slept through in school but it really is important that you use the words that you mean to use.
If you aren’t sure about the grammar in your marketing emails, have someone who you know to be knowledgeable check it before you send it. Don’t stake your reputation on a spell check program…they are not infallible
Misspelled words make you look dumb…there just isn’t another word. Incorrect grammar makes you look uneducated and that is even worse than being dumb.
🕘 No email marketer worth his salt would ever want to have a subscriber opt-out. The sad but true fact is, however, that in every email that you send to your list you must provide an opt-out option in some form. I know…the rule stinks but it is the law and we do have to abide by it. The law does NOT, however, say where in the email this option must be positioned.
Remember that short attention span that we talked about before? Here’s where you can actually use it to your advantage. Put the opt-out option at the bottom of your email and below the scroll line. Maybe they won’t go to the trouble to look for it and they might buy something when you send the next marketing email.
The law says you have to provide a link. It doesn’t say that you have to make it easy to find.
🕘 Another thing that you must provide in every marketing email that you send using your autoresponder is your physical or postal mailing address. Put at the bottom of your email just above the dreaded opt-out option.
Effective Marketing Email
How many ways are there to fail at Email Marketing? Let me count the ways!
Those who view their opt-in lists as email addresses that have agreed to receive marketing emails are doomed to failure. Your opt-in list is NOT a list of email addresses. It is a list of real live people. You are not marketing to a list, you are marketing to people and it is all about THEM. If you ever lose sight of this fact, you won’t have a ghost of chance to succeed at email marketing.
When you sit down to compose a marketing email that you intend to load into your autoresponder and have sent to your opt-in list, you need to picture the people that will receive your marketing email. Each one will make one of the following choices. Which option do you think most of them will make? Will they…
1. Open it, read it and act upon it
2. Open it, scan it and act upon it
3. Open it, scan it and hit the delete button
4. See that it is from you and hit the delete button without opening it at all 5. Open it and actively search for the opt-out option?
If most of the people who receive your marketing email, choose options 1 or 2 or 3, you are doing everything right and you can stop reading right here.
If most of them are choosing options 5 or 6, you are in deep trouble and you should keep reading and maybe take notes.
The reasons why people opted into your mailing list in the first place was either because they wanted the information that they believed you could provide for them or they were just eager to lay their hands on the incentive gift for signing into your list. Either reason is valid. They are on your list and it is up to you to keep them from taking option 5 or 6. Most often, the reasons people opt out of a mailing list are:
1. They couldn’t read the marketing email that you sent. Correct formatting is vital. Your autoresponder provider gives you all of the formatting instructions that you need to assure that the recipients of your marketing emails can read them no matter what email program they are using. The instructions will tell you that you should:
a) Use only ASCII characters. These are the characters that you see on your key board. Write your email using Note Pad. Note pad removes all formatting and uses only ASCII characters.
b) Have no more that 65 characters per line. Some email programs will garble lines that are longer. If you don’t want to have to count line characters, you can find programs that will do it for you. One such program is Ziney and can be found at
c) Don’t use word wrapped links. All email programs do not send clickable links. If you do use a word wrapped link, include the whole web address with it so that it can be copied and pasted into the address bars of users.
2. The last email you sent was so long their eyes glazed over, they fell out of their chairs and hurt themselves. Keep it short! A marketing email should be brief…very brief. Say what you have to say and shut up. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Hold it down to one page with no scroll bar. 300 to 400 words are plenty of words to try to sell something.
3. They are tired of you filling up their inboxes. Don’t email your list too often! How often is too often? Multiple times a day is too often. Once a day is too often. Don’t send marketing emails because you can. Send them when you really have something to offer. They gave you permission to send them an email. They didn’t give you permission to pester the life out of them. Curb your enthusiasm.
4. The subject line didn’t get their attention. Subject lines are the first thing an email recipient sees. If that doesn’t get their attention, they will hit the delete button. Give at least as much time and thought to your subject line as you do to the body of your email.
5. They thought you were yelling at them. Go easy on the exclamation points and ALL CAPS. One exclamation point is effective; ten are just rude. All capital letters are the Internet version of yelling. Nobody likes to be yelled at.
6. They were confused about what you were selling. Don’t try to sell every product that you have in your arsenal in every marketing email that you send. Promote only one product or one service per email.
7. They didn’t like your tone of voice. Emails are conversation in print. As you construct you marketing email, picture yourself speaking to the person who will receive it. There are times to use formal language. A marketing email isn’t one of them. Speak as though you were speaking to a friend or a co-worker. Be friendly and be business-like but do not be too formal nor too familiar.
8. They decided that you were just too dumb to do business with. Sorry but it’s true. Misspelled words and poor grammar are leading causes of opt-out options being exercised. Use your spell check program but don’t stake your reputation on it. Most all of the spell check programs are very good but they are not infallible. For example: When I type the words, ‘do they?’ the spell check program will tell me that I need to change it to ‘do them’. ‘Do them’ is wrong. I had it right the first time. The spell check program will tell me I need to change ‘your’ to you’re’ sometimes when ‘your’ was right, as well. Use it…but don’t bet on it.
9. They thought it was junk mail or SPAM. You forgot to use the personalization feature provided by your autoresponder provider or you never bothered to learn how. Mail is delivered that starts, ‘Dear Friend’ or ‘Dear Customer’. Take the time and make the effort to learn about all of the special features that are offered.
10. They have never heard of you. If you bought an opt-in list from a list building service, the recipients won’t know you from Adam’s house cat. They are most likely not interested in what you are selling, either.
If you use the list-building techniques outlined in this ebook and then create effective marketing emails to send to the PEOPLE on that list, you have a very good chance of succeeding in the world of email marketing. Email marketing is the wave of the future….ride the wave!