We all know the value of having an opt-in list. But when you have an opt-in list, it is not just a matter of sending your subscribers your newsletters or promotional offers. There are many things to consider if you want to avoid the many complications you are likely to get with your subscribers. While there are so many ways you can make people to subscribe to your list, there are also some things you must do if you want to avoid your subscribers wanting to get off your list.
Aside from that, you also want to avoid any problems with the law and your internet service provider or ISP. There are now many laws and rules that are being applied by those involved in the internet community to help protect the privacy of internet users from spam and unwanted email. With the popularity of the email as a medium for marketing because of the low cost, many companies have seized the opportunity and have flooded many people’s email accounts with promotional mail. We’ve all experienced the increase in email spam over recent years.
But, with an opt-in list, you avoid this annoyance because people have subscribed to your list; they have confirmed that they want to receive your newsletter and promotional material. They have consented to being on your list by subscribing themselves, so one of the most important things you now have to do is not forget to put an unsubscribe feature on everything you send out to your list.
There may be the odd occasion when their email address has been entered in an online form without their consent, either intentionally or by mistake. This is why having a double opt-in feature on your opt-in list is helpful. Using this feature means that if someone, other than themselves, has entered their email address in your web form, they will be able to decline joining your list, so you can be assured that only people who want to be on your list, are actually on it.
Many of the major autoresponder service providers, such as Aweber, GetResponse and TrafficWave, include this double opt-in feature and recommend that you use it, to avoid sending spam and unwanted email.
It is also essential that you keep your list clean and manageable. By using the many tools and technologies available from your autoresponder provider, you can keep your opt-in list of subscribers organized, so that they only receive information about the actual product or service they subscribed to. Your investment in this marketing strategy is well worth the expense, when you consider the coverage you will get without the issues of spam, which will likely be converted into sales and profits.
Keeping yourself and your business out of trouble with the law and internet service providers is essential to your success. You must keep your operation legitimate and clean. Your reputation as a legitimate businessman and a legitimate website and business depends on your being an honest and true marketing strategist.
As a tip, here are three important things to avoid when emailing your list.
1) Take notice of your unsuccessful sends.
These are the emails that bounce. Bounced emails, also known as undeliverable messages, are those messages that, for whatever reason, were not successfully received by the intended recipient.
There are bounces that happen or occur because the server was busy at that time but can still be delivered in another time. There are also bounces because the inbox of the recipient is full at that time. There are those bounce messages that are simply undeliverable and never will be. The reason for this is that it may be an invalid email address, a misspelled email address, or an email address that was abandoned and erased by the owner.
Manage your list by marking on those that bounce. If you have repeated email bounces from a particular email address, erase the email account from your list so that you have an accurate statistics and records as to how many are actually receiving your mail. You may also want to check the spellings of your email addresses in your list. One common mistake is when an N instead of an M is placed in the .com area.
I operate a SOLO Ad Exchange myself and I use the ‘3 strikes and you’re out rule’. If an email address bounces 3 times, the user account is deleted immediately. The same applies to my opt-in lists. You only want people on your list who are real and want to receive your message, emails that bounce are not reaching anyone and your message is going to waste, so keeping your opt-in list clean can only benefit you.
2) Always provide an unsubscribe feature on your site and an unsubscribe link in your mails.
When someone in your list files a request to be unsubscribed, always take that request seriously. If you don’t take them off your list and keep sending them your e-mails, you are now sending them spam mail.
When you are reported as a spammer, you and your business can get into a lot of trouble. You can be reported to the authorities and maybe blacklisted by many internet service providers. You will lose a lot of subscribers this way and many more in potential subscribers. Bad news travels fast and with the instant nature of everything on the internet, this bad news will travel even faster. Before long the fact that you ignore your subscribers requests to unsubscribe will cost you dearly because lost subscribers means lost revenue and profits to you.
3) Do not provide pornographic or shocking and disturbing content in your newsletters.
This is something that continues to amaze me and is now more prevalent especially with social media sites. The users of these sites are quite happy to ‘write as they speak’ and include profanities and pornographic references in the messages they post.
Whilst this may be acceptable within their own group of friends and acquaintances, it is hard to decipher the age of the recipient on your list and many complaints may stem from this type of message.
Some marketers seem to think that headlining their marketing messages in such a way is OK. But whilst many people will open the message, out of curiosity, many more will simply unsubscribe from your list because these are not the sort of subjects they want to see. Not everyone may be as open-minded as you and you do not want to alienate those that are not like you and have them unsubscribe from your list.
You should also avoid controversial issues, so as not to be branded by your subscribers as racist or bigoted. You may have your own strong views on a particular subject, but these views may not be shared by your subscribers. Forcing your views upon them will only make them want to unsubscribe from your list.
If you stick to the nature of your site and business you will keep your subscribers and in due course increase the size of your list, as your existing subscribers will recommend you to others as a good source of useful information.
Whenever you are going to send a message out to your subscribers, always remember the tips in this article so that you can have a healthy relationship with your subscribers. This will ensure you keep within the boundaries of what is allowed in sending mails to an opt-in list.
About the Author
Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.
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