One of the most successful methods of Internet marketing is the building of a large list of readers, who have opted in to receive mail from the marketer. This allows the marketer to send out special offers to a targeted list who they know is interested in their product. The benefits of this are obvious, they are more likely to get sales from people who have requested information from them, and they are less likely to get complaints about the commercial nature of their mailing.
Maintaining a list can be a time consuming job, as it does come with a certain ammount of responsibility. The members have trusted the marketer with their e-mail address, and have done so under the assumption that they will not recieve irrelevant mailings, and that their address will never be sold on to other marketers(or flat out spammers).
I recently received a message from a marketer who did almost everything wrong. I promptly emailed him pointing out his errors, unsure if I would come across as helpful or pompous. Evidently it was helpful as I received an apology email and a free product(e-book) from him. Here's a quick rundown of what he did wrong:
1. I never opted in to receive e-mail from him. His first message was a marketing message. As such I could rightly call it spam, and probably would have done had I not recognised the e-mail address. To be honest I was surprised it got through gmail's filters (Had I bought his product with my primary email I doubt it would have got through the SpamWasher filters I use with Outlook Express). A more professional approach would have been to send out an opt in email once I had bought his product (he received my email address after I made a purchase) and only THEN add me to his opt-in list.
2. The subject “Special Offer" was very generic. Infact, the two words are amongst the most likely there are of being picked up by a Bayesian Filter as Spam. I always encourage people with mailing lists to use a special identifier in their subject line. My own mailing list uses [STOPSPAMNOW]. This identifies the message immediately to the recipient, identifying it as coming from you.
3. The worst error was that the marketer had put all his addresses in the to: field. AGGGHHH!!!! Especially considering the nature of the product this is a disaster! Every person who has bought his product from him now has access to my email address. That's a bit scary for me. Never, never NEVER give out your e-mail list to ANYONE. And this is exactly what this marketer did, albeit unintentionally. Any member of that list now knows exactly how many sales he has made and to whom. They can steal the list and use it for their own promotions.
I sincerely hope to those of you who legitimately mail opt-in lists, that none of these errors will hamper your marketing efforts.
With an estimated 70-90 billion spam messages sent every day, the problem is not going away. Don't wait for someone to solve the problem for you, visit STOPSPAMNOW.info and download your free ebook on how to win the fight against spam.