alternative to spam mailing is a subscription based mailing
list. Do you have some knowledge or expertise that other people
would be interested in? If so, then why not offer a weekly or
monthly mailing list that features your expertise?
There are many people out there who are highly offended by spam
(unsolicited commercial email). If you start a mailing list, you
will have the ear of a large number of people that are
interested in what you want to say. Some of those people are
bound to buy your products. If not, you will have made a large
number of contacts who feel they know you intimately. You never
know when some of these people can help you in one way or
Once you have selected the content, schedule and format of your
mailing list, you will need to begin soliciting subscribers. We
mentioned that you can solicit subscribers in conjunction with
your online contest. In my experience, the vast majority of
subscribers to my mailing list have come this way. However,
don't let this stop you from using other methods. You should ask
just about every contact you make online if they would like to
subscribe to your FREE mailing list that offers all this great
information. Most people will take you up on it.
There are a number of ways to manage the list. The most
efficient is to use a mailing list server like Majordomo. You
ISP may be able to help you here. The benefit of this type of
automated list manager is that people will be able to subscribe
and unsubscribe automatically. Not only does this feature give
your list an air of professionalism, but it is also very
convenient for the subscribers. Whether you you use this method
or not, it's essential that you respond to subscribe and
unsubscribe requests promptly and courteously.
If you don't use a mailing list server you can always maintain
the list manually and then use a multiple mailing program to
send out your messages. You should be able to find any variety
of mass mailing programs to choose from. This program will run
on your home computer and will not allow for auto subscribe and
unsubscribe since it's not tied
into the internet constantly like Majordomo.
Earthonline has a number of excellent direct emailing programs
that will help you manage lists as well as other promotional
tasks. NetContact in particular has all sorts of cool functions
like profit and campaign analysis.
If you can't afford this program you can always send each
message individually, but this will be a real pain once you get
100 or so subscribers.
When you format your message, be sure to type it in a plain text
editor like Notepad. Try to keep each line no longer than sixty
characters and use a hard line break at each line. This will
ensure that the message looks the same on almost any email
viewer. Otherwise, the line breaks may appear at unusual
Lastly, make sure that the content is important. Don't just send
out a mailing list to say "hi, have you checked out my page
lately?" Give them a reason to come back to your site, and don't
pester them too often.
TDEM or Spam?
Personally, I don't mind spam. I like to receive messages from
marketers out there. It keeps me abreast of what other folks are
doing. Many people don't share this opinion, however. Some are
even violently opposed to it. So you must ask yourself, am I
willing to take the risks associated with it and make a mass
mailing? It's so tempting...
I think there is a major distinction between Spam and what
Pamela Schieve describes as Targeted Direct Email Marketing (TDEM).
If you would like to find out more about that, I recommend
reading her e-book of the same title. You can download the
latest version at the Internet Marketing Library.
She used to sell the course for about $500 but is now offering
it for free online. That little book will one day prove to be a
piece of marketing history. It lays down standards that all
direct emailers should follow, and helps distinguish between
honest marketers and shysters.
Once again, the Earthonline programs are the best out there for
these purposes. But let us stress prudence! Don't abuse these
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