Email Marketing Information

Lesson #5: Four Easy Ways to Kill Your Business Using Your Autoresponder... And How to Avoid Them

The importance of building an opt-in list over spamming (a.k.a., using unsolicited commercial email) is something that I can never stress enough. You must avoid it at all costs!

That and more can kill your business!

NEVER use your autoresponder for spamming in any way. You can lose your account, pay fines, get locked out from your ISP, lose your website and, above all, get jail time.

It's a serious matter that must never be overlooked. Sure, you may stumble onto someone who says they can help you spam without getting caught. But please remember this...

The reason you want a smart autoresponder is to expose your sales message more than once to your prospects in order to create trust, credibility and believability.

So, why would you do something that literally contradicts that very notion? Spamming is good if it's done once. That why spammers must keep spamming in order to stay alive!

Spamming is Like a Drug

Spamming is like a brief high... If it works (and it rarely does), it only brings a small cash infusion in the short term. That's all. You have to remain unknown, cloaked, hidden.

Then you have to work, and work, and work... Non-stop!

On the other hand, if you build an opt-in list of eager, highly targeted prospects, you only need to work once... That's it! You can spend the rest of your time growing your business.

Here are four seemingly easy ways of using your smart autoresponder that can kill your business really fast...

NEVER email a list of non-targeted email addresses picked at random (such as by using software to "harvest" email addresses posted on the web).

NEVER buy lists of email addresses from unknown list brokers or suppliers (many of them offer thousands of names on CD-ROMs, are often useless and are known as outright scams). Trust reputable ones only.

NEVER email any contact unless you have their explicit permission to do so (and that includes adding email addresses in bulk to your autoresponder database!).

NEVER share your own opt-in list to others, since their spam will kill your business even if it wasn't your fault! Spam can get in a lot of hot water, plain and simple.

Why "Opt-in" and Not Spam?

As you know, using responsible email marketing to grow your business can help you save loads of time, fatten your bank account and give you an astonishing return on investment.

Instead of using spam, think about starting a legitimate opt-in list of targeted prospects, and then turn them into life-long customers by consistently keeping in touch with them.

Spammers usually don't care if the people who receive the message are really interested or "not" in their offer. That's why they tend to send an inordinate amount of emails...

... All with the hope that they get a few "bites."

Look at it this way...

If you shoot a gun in the air (or in the dark), you will seldom hit a target. That's why you have no choice but to keep shooting and shooting... Until you finally do hit it (if ever).

With an opt-in list, however, look at it as your target... It's right there, before you, easy to hit (and hard to miss). Your chances of hitting your target are drastically higher. Right?

The absolute best way to protect yourself from complaints and disgruntled email recipients is to build an opt-in email list and sending email to only those people who asked for it.

Spammers are often enticed to carry out their unethical (and illegal in some places) practices because email is free and fast. But if you remember, it lacks the third "F:" Focus.

If You Lack Focus, Be Prepared...

Spammers with such an attitude find out the hard way that it's really very costly, even dangerous. In fact, some of the recipients can make the spammer's life quite miserable!

From complaining to your ISP or web host, to sending mail bombs, nasty viruses and even significant threats - from hacking into your computer to causing physical harm!

Plus, nowadays many recipients are members of a variety of anti-spam groups that arm members with tools for tracking, reporting, filtering and even stopping spammers' attempts!

Of those, the most popular one is CAUCE (i.e., the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email). They have created a number of tools, such as blacklists, now used by most ISPs.

Finally, keep in mind that email software (and "add-ons") are making it more and more difficult for spam to reach its final destination, from sophisticated filters to complaint reporters.

Less than a half-percent of people will get your spam!

Save Time, Effort and Money!

Building an opt-in list has a number of advantages. Sure, you can build trust with and sell a lot easier to a list of targeted people. But in addition, responsible email allows you to:

Send email offers to a group of people who know you, expect your emails and want to do business with you.

Achieve greater sales, even from a small list, since it is targeted (and will get through most email filters since your newsletter is added to the recipients' "whitelists").

Not upset anyone since they have given you their permission to email them, as well as not get in trouble with service providers since no one is complaining.

Not waste time, money and energy on buying and setting up email cloakers, spam-friendly servers, fake email accounts and useless bulk email software.

And, above all, not waste time constantly looking for a new ISP (and moving your website from host to host) because your last one closed your account!

If you're putting those people who asked for more information via an autoresponder into an opt-in list, make sure they know: 1) they're subscribing and 2) their email is kept private!

Treat your subscribers like gold... They're your lifeblood!

Minimize complaints by making it as easy an as transparent as possible. In other words, tell them what they will get from you, how often and how easy it is to stop it at any time.

In fact, adding a privacy policy on your website or near your web form (or accessible near your autoresponder link) will increase the likelihood of getting people to join your list.

It can be as simple as this...

PRIVACY POLICY: Your email address is safe with us. We promise never to
sell to or share with anyone, for any reason, your personal contact information.

But if you want to create a more complete privacy policy web page (and perhaps have a link to it near your web form), here's some information you might tell your prospects...

WHAT information is being collected (such as email addresses, names, phone numbers, etc).

WHY the information is being collected (tell them that it's for a free report, ezine or whatever, and if you plan on adding their information into an opt-in list for sending periodic announcements or special offers).

WHEN that information is being used (tell them exactly how often do you plan on emailing them).

WHO will be using (or accessing) that information (while you should be the only one, here you might include staff, service providers, partners, etc).

WHERE the information is actually stored (tell them that the information is also secure from hackers)

And HOW to remove or modify that information (tell people exactly how they can update or change their details, or remove themselves from your list). Bottom-line, make your opt-in list safe and secure for both you AND your prospects. The more you do, the greater your profits will soar! Be responsible and use commonsense!

Make it Personal!

Finally, try to personalize your email messages. Personalization increases trust and confidence. But more importantly, it also shows that your message was voluntarily asked for.

Personalized messages get the attention of readers and can dramatically increase the readership. In fact, readers will be more receptive and attentive to your marketing message.

Whether your message is a plain text message or HTML, you can easily add personalization tags in the message: like the reader's name, address, email addresses or even website!

Personalizing your messages will increase your sales!

For example, put the reader's first name in the subject line. First, it will show that the message is wanted and not spam. But second, studies show that it will actually be read first!

Next, personalize the message content! That way, you not only give the reader content that's relevant to them, but also give your message a more trustworthy and credible "feel!"

Ultimately, realize that personalization not only increases readership, response AND revenue, but it also increases the chances of it reaching its final destination in the first place!

Avoid being filtered out as spam!

Learn more about internet marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing go to internet marketing and website promotion.

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