During our last blog, we discussed how to build a quality marketing list through organic means. Some businesses will still opt to purchase a marketing list to ramp up their efforts. If you are considering such a route, we would like to share a few tips with you to help increase your chances for success. When acquiring potential customer lists, insist on these key things:
Ask for exclusive rights to the list. This will prevent a competitor from acquiring the same list.
Insist on a quality guarantee. While the company who provides you with a marketing list can do nothing to assure customers will purchase your product or service, it can guarantee that you will find the list to be authentic—meaning the names, addresses and phone numbers on the list are eligible for contact based on the CAN-SPAM Act and the Do-Not-Call Registry, and that the contact information is current and legitimate, save for a small percentage that may be obsolete due to business closure, moves, and natural attrition.
Follow the trail. Some companies piece together contact lists without gaining the proper permission from the recipients, which can ultimately land you in hot water if you use the list. Ask for documentation about how the list was obtained, including the IP address where each contact was acquired. Most reputable marketing firms will partner with corporations and offer their contacts select offers that align with their proclivities …and care what you are offering their contacts so they don’t opt out of other affiliated mailings as well.
Join us in our next blog where we’ll discuss how to write a welcome letter for new opt-ins.
We hate spam as much as you do. But the thing is – most email campaigns involve selling, promotions, driving traffic to websites, and other related activities. Not that email marketing is 99.9% spam; we understand that using emails as a marketing tool is indeed very powerful, and that’s why Online Outbox is equipped with the function of checking your email campaigns for spam before sending them out.
One of our tutorials (see: how to reduce spam) talks about the right selection of words. We feel that providing you with some of the specific words to avoid can help in structuring your email campaigns more quickly and effectively. Having the knowledge of these words gives you the ability to avoid the spam box as early as composing the actual email message. Here’s the list:
There you have it. Something useful for smoother email marketing with Online Outbox.
As a group constantly involved in marketing via technology, we try our best to stay on top of legal issues that affect our methods for doing business. A friend recently asked about legislation about email marketing. Here was my reply; I hope it helps in your marketing efforts:
The most stringent of regulations in the US result from the CAN-SPAM act, initiated in 2003, and updated several times since. This governs how data is acquired, message content and proper identification, and honor opt-out requests. More info at http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business.
A few states in the US also assert regulation. The Georgia Slam Spam Act, for instance, legislates types of emails coming to its residents are acceptable.
- Send a high volume of spam, as in more than 10,000 messages in a 24-hour period;
- Generate more than $1,000 in revenue from a single spam message or more than $50,000 from all spam transmitted to a single ISP; or
- Knowingly use a minor to assist in transmitting spam. The criminal penalty for a felony of this nature is a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. E-mails that are deceptive but do not meet the above criteria are punishable as a misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both. Enforcement of this law is the shared responsibility of Georgia’s Attorney General and local district attorneys and law enforcement units.
More on Georgia Slam Spam Act can be found at: http://www.georgia.gov/00/article/0,2086,5426814_5684686_39006130,00.html
Obviously, it’s important to comply with laws because fines can be costly.
That’s where using an Email Service Provider, such as OnlineOutbox can come in handy. In addition to ensuring compliance with our double opt-in methodology and our subscription management forms, our server technology maintains high levels of deliverability (via our multi-threading capabilities), while keeping risk to the marketer minimal (providing a buffer layer via our multi-tiered server structure). An Email Service Provider allows users to send large quantities of opt-in emails to subscribers, raising the efficacy of electronic marketing campaigns.
Nowadays it’s very easy to take other people’s opinions as gospel truth. This is especially true when one is just starting out with an online business and we turn to just about any resources to ensure success at the onset.
The same goes for email marketing. With so many email marketing gurus, applications and tips available online, it is so easy to get lost and stray away from the essentials.
Here are 5 very helpful tips that every newbie email marketer must know about.
1) Know what exactly you are spending for. Before you decide to sign up with an email marketing web software, make sure that you have made your diligent research of the features, pricing, customer and technical support of at least five (5) different email marketing service softwares or providers. You might be surprised to know that a vendor that tops almost all review lists does not actually have autoresponders or its equivalent. What a waste it could have been if you’ve signed up for full subscription only to find out that the feature you are looking out for is actually not available for you.
2) Avoid spamming, at all costs. Stating the obvious, spamming does not work. It is not only illegal, but the act of sending emails to a large number of people who have not requested such emails will turn off current contacts or potential customers. You run the risk of having your business reputation ruined, or worse, facing a lawsuit in court.
3) Know What Is Single Opt-in, Double Opt-in, Opt-out. In single opt-in lists, anybody’s email address can be submitted by anyone to a list, and remains in such list until it is unsubscribed. In double opt-in, a user subscribes to an email list or newsletter, then confirms such subscription by responding to a confirmation message.
The significance lies on the fact that studies show that customers who have chosen to receive email feel like they are in control and would more likely answer positively to subsequent messages. While with double opt-ins, there is that high risk of losing a subscriber who would not confirm a subscription, it would at least give you a streamline list of subscribers who have answered affirmatively to your mailings, and who are guaranteed to become your repeat customers.
4) Keep design clean and simple. If you are creating a newsletter or an email in HTML, always remember that nothing can go wrong with having a clean and simple design. Templates are often available in most email marketing software products and these offer you the flexibility of modifying elements such as layout, graphic images, color and others.
5) Always keep your content fresh, interesting and updated. Keep in mind that the real challenge is not in getting them to sign up, but in having them remain in the list by their own choice. You can do the writing yourself, but if you have difficulty coming up with ideas you can search and get ideas from free content or articles. Keep your messages fun, interesting, and informative enough to keep your subscribers to your list.
A recent survey conducted by Prospective Marketing found 76% of people who signed up to receive a company’s email newsletter were motivated to do so by a special offer or savings, leaving 24% signing up for the specific reason of getting production information. In other words, offering incentives works.
If you sell a product or service but are not enticing prospects to subscribe to your email newsletter with some sort of offer, you’re missing a significant opportunity to grow your list of subscribers. And chances are, your competition is already doing so.
Rather than simply posting product information on your web site, offer discounts, freebies or other incentives for visitors to subscribe. You’ll have a captive audience, captivated.
As a truly spam-free service email marketer, you’ll want to make sure that your subscribers are aware that they will be receiving your emails, and that they look forward to receiving them, because the content of the email benefits them in some way.
That said, we will all come across subscribers who, for some reason or other, no longer wish to receive our newsletters. The key to positive karma in email marketing is to make it as easy as possible to help people get what they’re looking for. If they want to unsubscribe, let them! If they want to update their email address so that they continue receiving newsletters at a new address, let them as well.
I came across this article from our friends at Marketing Profs, and just had to share.
“Contrary to popular belief among marketers,” says a ReturnPath whitepaper, “an unsubscribe request is not necessarily the end of a customer relationship. By executing a well-thought-out, positive unsubscribe experience, a company can extend their brand equity and keep the customer for years to come, even if that customer is no longer an email subscriber.”
To see how well corporations currently manage the opt-out process, ReturnPath unsubscribed from 45 email lists it had previously joined for another study. While most included links to unsubscribe or preference pages in their messages, a few still required recipients to send unsubscribe requests by email. The majority of the companies provided immediate confirmation that an address would be removed from the list. Some even offered the exact date this would take effect.
However, surprisingly few offered anything but a total opt-out: only 2 companies out of the 45 studied offered options for subscribers to change the frequency they received email, or to opt out of just some of the marketers’ emails. And only 11% of companies allowed subscribers to change their email address on the unsubscribe landing page.
Read more here.
Online Outbox makes creating subscription forms simple, and will even give you the html code to place on your website to give your subscribers a seamless experience. Check it out! Login and Create a Website Form.