In Part 1 and Part 2 of this trilogy of articles we discussed the principal dangers of buying an email list and how they can irreparably damage your business. In this third section, we want to alert you to the pitfalls of buying what are referred to as ‘opt-in’ email lists and how they can be just as dangerous. Finally, we will give you some useful tips and advice on how to create and maintain your own ‘safe’ email list.
So, what is an ‘opt in’ email lists. In the simplest of terms, it is a list of email addresses where the owner of that email address has opted to receive emails from companies other than the one they were dealing with. Unless you have been living on another planet these last ten years, on many occasions you will have been presented with the option of ticking a box to receive information from other companies when you have been registering with a website, usually when making an online purchase.
Now if people have knowingly and willingly signed up to receive emails, you’d think that a list created that is full of such contacts would be worth a fortune and your shortest road to riches yourself. There is only one problem though, and that is called human nature.
When we sign up to receive emails from other companies, we assume it will be for similar ‘stuff’. Unfortunately, many of the ‘associated businesses or partners’ connected to the site you subscribed to are far from similar. As a consequence, when an email is received from one of these other companies, it is often perceived as spam and can be reported as such, with the penalty of the is having been previously discussed.
Additionally, can you remember the name of every website you have signed up to and agreed to receive emails from other companies? The answer is most likely no, so what happens when you get an email out of the blue from a company you’ve never heard of? You assume it’s spam, and act accordingly.
In the simplest of terms, an opt-in email list is no better than a standard email list, and it comes with all the same problems, such as addresses having already been emailed to death by other purchasers of the list. The list you receive may be described as ‘fresh’, but that can simply mean that it is recent, not unused.
So what are your safest options if you want to get the word out that you are in business? Well creating your own email list is the best way to go, and it needn’t be as difficult as you think. We hope the following will help get you, and keep you on the right track:
Use social media to generate interest in your website and keep content fresh. Even if you sell the same product week after week, keep your SEO blog up to date and run special offers from time to time for signing up to your email list
Everyone likes a freebie, so if you don’t want to offer a reduction on prices, then think about creating handy ‘guides’ or offering regular snippets of advice for free to anyone who signs up to your website
Do not offer such things as ‘free updates’ or any ‘gift’ that has no instantly perceived value. Most people today understand that a ‘free update’ is little different to spam
Sign up to a dedicated email service provider (ESP) that can provide you with an excellent range of email template tools
Of course, the creation of an email list depends very much on your ability to not only drive people to your website, but to keep them there long enough to want to subscribe to any special offer or promotion you are having at the time.
However, don’t think your work is over once you have complied your mailing list, because you will need to ensure that all addresses on it remain active – remember how we discussed the penalties for ‘bounced’ emails?
In regularly validating all your email addresses, you guarantee that every time you send out a marketing promotion or newsletter, it will hit the right target and your reputation as a sender of emails will grow with your email service provider.
Published: 2018-01-30 11:24:00