Our spam-ridden online world has spurred a lot of talk about permission-based email lists or opt-in email lists. What does the term “ permission-based ” really mean? How can you build a permission-based email list? How do you use email to communicate with your subscribers respectfully?
What is a Permission-Based Email List?
The answer to this question might sound obvious. You might even be able to guess what it means.
It’s funny to me how so many spammers are in denial and don’t actually think of themselves as spammers. So I thought I’d put together a little list of activities to help determine if you are a spammer.
Before I start, I will say there are shades of grey in the world of email marketing. Sometimes, what is spam to one person might be seen as convenient and appropriate by another.
Here’s a question I wondered about for a long time. Many of us have become familiar with the oodles of spam that makes its way to our inbox on a daily basis. The inconvenience of deleting each and every irrelevant and sometimes crude offer is a major annoyance. It’s enough to make you wonder…
“Do spammers ever get punished?”
I’m happy to report that they do.
When you send out an email, you are delivering it to people with a number of different computer systems, networks and email browser configurations. You want to ensure that your email piece is selected so it can be viewed properly by your target. This is why formatting your message properly is so important.
Your recipients might see your email message differently on their computers than you do.
As an email marketer you’ll find you can spend considerable sums of money on list rentals. You might be thinking to yourself, “I wish there was a less-expensive way to market via email.” There is. With few exceptions, all the major companies I’ve worked with have started their email efforts by renting lists and over time transitioned their efforts to building their own permission-based house list.
I’m always surprised at the subject lines people come up with when asked to send a blank email to an autoresponder. Why not save them the trouble? This HTML script will automatically complete the subject line for the respondent as soon as they click on it:
The email address at the beginning of the string is the autoresponder’s address. The string that begins “subject=” is the subject line that the message will automatically address itself with.
“What’s the first step in planning an email campaign?”
Define your target audience. “Who is your ideal target audience?” A good way to answer this is to think about your current clients and what is similar about them. With this information and a target budget a representative will provide you with some detailed list recommendations for your review.
“Can I take possession of the data in the opt-in email lists?”
I’m a huge fan of email newsletters as an advertising medium. I subscribe to a number of newsletters to stay current with industry trends, and think they are an ideal way for companies to distribute information and build an online audience.
In general, there are two different types of email newsletter publishers. There are newsletters distributed by companies to keep in touch with their prospects and customers by providing periodic updates and information.
Picking the right audience for your company’s offerings is very important. Your objective should be to find a newsletter sent to individuals that have the need for your services and the power to buy them.
Here are a few questions to ask prior to doing a placement in a newsletter:
Who are the subscribers?
You’ll want to know where the subscribers to the newsletter came from.
How can you dramatically improve the performance of your email copy? The following tips have been used for many years in print and are especially true when trying to get the attention of a busy online audience. Keep in mind that some people get upwards of 50 emails each day! It’s important to take the extra time necessary to tweak your copy and make the offer solid.