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The Value of Using Email Lists
For Profitable Marketing —
And How To Keep It Legal

by Jay Lindsay
Copyright 2014, National Business Reports, All Rights Reserved


Computer graphicThose that are new to Internet Marketing like the simplicity of being able to send out sales materials to thousands of email addresses and wait for the orders to pour in.

Yes, there are companies who offer to sell you what they refer to as opt-in email mailing lists, just as there are companies that sell names and addresses for postal mailings.

However, there is a world of difference between mailings you make delivering your advertising message by the U.S. Postal Service and ones you make by email using the Internet. Either can get you in trouble if you are attempting to push some scam or pyramid scheme.

Americans receive unwanted mail in their home mailboxes daily advertising products or services ranging from lawn care to diet pills.  They simply call it "junk mail" and throw away what they don't find of interest.  No foul, no problem.

Send the same information via an email business-type advertisement and it is called "spam" and in certain instances that marketing effort can subject you to heavy fines and even prison time.

In the Internet world there is a law referred to as the "Can-Spam Act" which in short says you can't, for business purposes, send unsolicited email to an individual unless you have an established business relationship with that person or they have asked for or "opted-in" for materials. They must also be given an opportunity to easily tell you to remove them from any list and make no future mailing to them.  You can learn details of the "Can-Spam Act" from the Federal Trade Commission.

Now we come to the part about buying and using email lists provided by others that you can use for your own email promotion ... and things get tough.  All such companies will tell you that their names and email addresses are "opt-in" in that the potential recipient has given the okay to receive unsolicited emails from anyone who wants to send them.

Perhaps I lean in the direction of being too skeptical at this point but two questions come to mind:

  1. How can you possibly determine the difference between a legitimate email list marketer who truly has an "opt-in" list and a slimy spammer who only says he is providing "opt-in" email addresses.
  2. Why would someone "opt-in" to receive perhaps hundreds of junk emails everyday from every corner of the world trying to sell them everything imaginable?

I have no intention of telling you what to do or how to run your business, but I can tell you that I don't buy, or even borrow, email names and addresses from others under any circumstances.  In my mind it is too risky and I don't ever want to be associated with those that send "spam" messages.

Here's what we do at National Business Reports:

Over time we have created our own "opt-in" emailing list of people who have done business with us or asked to be added to our mailing list.  Currently these people receive a free monthly newsletter from us which includes articles and helpful hints and tips for small and medium size businesses.  We also toss in data about the products we sell.

There are a number of ways you can maintain your email list.  You may wish to do a bit of investigation to find the one that might be right for you. Some offer free or free trail services while others charge a monthly fee depending on the amount of mail you send or the number of subscribers.

Here are some sites to look at:

GoogleGroups: https://groups.google.com/

AWeber: http://www.aweber.com/

Send Free: http://www.sendfree.com/

IContact: http://www.icontact.com/

MailChimp: http://mailchimp.com/

Developing, maintaining and effectively using your own email list of customers and potential customers is critical to Internet marketing success.  Experienced marketers know well that having their own email list is an absolute — don't ever think otherwise — requirement.

Do not overlook the value of having and effectively using your own email list to continually contact both past customers and potential customers in order to keep your name, services and/or products in front of them.  When done properly email marketing can be a very low cost, yet very effective process.  There are those who have made remarkable profits following the various techniques of email marketing.

As a word of caution, don't get greedy by mailing your list too often.  Some have chosen to churn their lists with mailings daily or every day or so and found that a large number of recipients soon opted out of receiving their offerings.

Depending on your audience, determine a reasonable mailing schedule and keep your data informative, interesting and worthwhile.

"Having your own email list is like owning your own goldmine."



National Business Reports PO Box 99 Spring Branch, TX  78070


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