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Mailing Lists

Mailing Lists




A good 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 another.

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 intervals.

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 powerful tools.


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