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How To Promote Your Business Using An Opt-In Email List
by Kevin Sinclair

Most online marketing experts agree that the development of an opt-in email list is a key factor of online business success. In this article, I will explore the benefits of opt-in email lists, obtaining email addresses for your list, mailing to your list, list performance issues and list promotion resources.

Benefits Of Opt-In Email Lists

It is unusual for first time visitors to your web site to purchase your products and services. Normally, your visitors need to develop trust in you and what you are offering. An opt-in email list allows you to stay in front of your prospects and customers encouraging repeat visits to your site that will result in sales.

People receiving your message will not regard it as SPAM as they have opted to join your mailing list. They have given you permission to send them messages. You have the opportunity to develop trust and to demonstrate your expertise, credibility and how you can benefit them.

Your opt-in list may become the most valuable asset that your business owns. Not only does it allow you to reach people cost effectively who are interested in your products and services, but also it can be a source of advertising revenue and future profits for your business.

Obtaining Email Addresses for Your List

The larger the list you are able to develop of qualified prospects and customers, the better off you will be. Ensure that you offer subscription details in a prominent position on your main web pages. Entice people to join the list by explaining the benefits they will receive.

To avoid misunderstandings and high unsubscribe rates, ensure that your potential subscribers know what they will be getting. Tell them how often they will be receiving email from you. If you publish ads between issues, tell them and give them the opportunity to choose the newsletter and ads or just the newsletter.

A key way to let potential subscribers know what to expect is through a privacy statement. Most people are concerned about what you will be doing with their email address. Reassure them that you will only be using it for your newsletter and not letting others have access to their details. To help you develop your privacy statement, you can use this online privacy statement site: http://www.truste.org/

Make subscription management easy for your subscribers. Always make it clear how they can unsubscribe. When you receive unsubscribe requests, act on these promptly. To do otherwise will not enhance your online reputation or credibility.

Donít be too aggressive in obtaining email addresses as this can often backfire. For example, I was visiting a site recently to download a free e-book. Before I could download, I had to enter my email address. No indication was given as to what my email address would be used for. I chose not to give my address and not to download the e-book. That site missed out on an opportunity because they did not provide me with confidence as to how my email address would be used.

Another technique used is to add addresses obtained from people requesting information via your autoresponders. In my opinion, it is better to have a series of autoresponder follow up messages rather than adding the names to an opt-in list. The ethical approach is only to add those people who have specifically given permission to join your list. A good source for follow up autoresponders is: http://www.aweber.com/?7385

Mailing To Your Opt-In Email List

Every time you mail to your list, you have an opportunity to establish and maintain trust and credibility with your subscribers. Therefore, ensure that each mailing contains content that your subscribers will find useful. Donít overload your message with ads unless you are an ads ezine.

Your list provides you with the opportunity to develop the image of your business. Donít send out a message that does not live up to the image that you are trying to cultivate. One bad issue can destroy a lot of the good work you have been doing.

The frequency of mailing to your list should be determined by what will not overload your subscribers and by the amount of time you have available to do the job well. When starting out, concentrate on quality rather than quantity. As you develop, you can increase the frequency if it is necessary.

Each issue needs to contain basic information such as links back to your site, how to unsubscribe, and a recommendation that the subscriber forward the issue to their friends and colleagues. Subject to the aims of your list, you can also include guest articles provided that they provide useful information to your subscribers.

List Performance

A key measure of your list performance is the levels of unsubscribe requests. This statistic is a strong indicator of how well you are doing. People unsubscribe for a variety of reasons. However, high levels of unsubscribe requests can indicate that you are failing to provide the content that the subscriber was expecting or that you are inadequately targeting the acquisition of new subscribers.

Try to find out the reasons people unsubscribe if the level is of concern to you. Then act on the information you have discovered so you can improve your ezine and retain the people still on your list.

List Promotion Resources

Donít solely rely on your web site to generate new subscribers for your opt-in list. Register your list in the search engines, ezine directories, and ezine announcement lists. A top resource to help you with this is http://List-Universe.com/ The Email List Owner and Ezine Publisher Resource Network.

Also, look to cultivate free ad swap with related publishers. Distribute your articles to related publishers Ė this can be an excellent source of free advertising and new subscribers. I use the Directory of Ezines to identify article submission and ad swap opportunities. The URL is: http://www.directoryofezines.com

Conclusion

The development of your own opt-in email list can be a key factor to the success of your business. Remember to treat it as your number one business asset and to act in the interests of your subscribers. Through doing this, you will develop a loyal list of people who will buy from you again and again as well as refer you to their friends.


Article by Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Be Successful! Business & Personal Success Resources (http://www.ksinclair.com/). He is the author of 2 free ebooks: "Success Secrets" & "How To Choose A Home Based Business". Kevin is also the publisher of "Be Successful News" - a free ezine dedicated to your online business success - to subscribe, send a blank email to mailto:pbsr-subscribe@listbot.com


-- SkyVault™ Web Design provides marketing consulting, web development, and Internet business services to small and medium sized businesses. They have been developing income-producing online properties since 1998. Contact the development team at: www.skyvaultwebdesign.com. Free Report Reveals Secrets of Their Successful Marketing Strategy: www.daretodoubleyourincome.com.

 

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