How To Screw-Up Your List.
Just in case you don?t know, your ?LIST? ? is you list of optin subscribers who have taken the time and effort to personally subscribe to your newsletter or ezine???..
Treat them like GOLD!
However, after nearly 7 years online, seeing quite a few classic examples of how to use, abuse and lose your list (including one or two made by myself) ? and of course, the mega-hype (and well deserved it is) about the rock-solid, vital importance of your list?? people still mess things up??..
Here are my Top Ten ways to avoid getting things Soooooo wrong?.
1. Backup your list of subscribers regularly. Don?t expect your web-host to do this for you, or to be reliable. If the server crashes, is hacked, infiltrated with a virus, blows-up?? your list could be gone forever. I personally lost 12,000 subscribers because one host I used simply closed down without notice.
2. If you spend half your time building up genuine optin subscribers, only to be tempted into buying a ?ready-made? list in order to boost your numbers?? watch out! Unless you are paying Top-Dollar per subscriber name on one of these lists, the chances are the list is useless, worthless and has been harvested by a spammer. This will result in spam complaints, and have you closed down.
3. Deliver WHAT you say. If you tell your subscribers that you will send them a newsletter or ezine, which contains new informative articles, plus possibly guest articles, maybe on a certain subject, perhaps maybe tips, jokes, Q&A section, special offers or discounts which are only available to subscribers (and nowhere else) ? then DO IT. Look, if you promote your newsletter as providing great content targeted at say, ?Female Bodybuilders? ? don?t include content on non-related subjects, or even subjects that may be considered unrelated, but which you think have a tenuous link.
4. Deliver WHEN you say. If you say your newsletter or ezine is published monthly, then the subscriber is within reason to expect 12 copies a year. If you then send them 37 copies ? or even 3 in a year, that will disappoint them. Some publishers chose daily ? that?s fine, providing you tell your subscribers, and the daily newsletter isn?t too long, and has quality content. You must also be one time (within reason). A Monthly Newsletter should be sent on roughly the same day / date each month. Weekly, on the same day if possible.
5. Don?t offer free ads to new subscribers. This is a HUGE pitfall by many publishers. In order to get more subscribers, they offer a free classified ad to each new subscriber. I have seen newsletters / ezines which do this, and because they do, they must publish each new subscribers ad. The reason why it?s so wrong is simple. Firstly, it is typical for someone ONLY to subscribe, in order to get a free ad. If so, they are worthless on your list, because they are not interested in your content, or for that matter, interested in anything else apart from getting THEIR ad in your newsletter ? they will never read the rest of the content ? just look for their own ad. Next, if you have a number of new subscribers, and each one has submitted a free ad for your to publish, this will simply fill-up your newsletter with free ads, which most people won?t even read. I?ve seen ezines with up to 200 free classified ads. Would YOU read each one? No.
6. Limit your paid advertising. Unless you are providing a newsletter or ezine which is completely aimed at providing advertising, and your subscribers WANT to see all adverts, don?t cram it full of Ads. A few well placed, chosen adverts to break-up the newsletter or ezine is fine - after all, if you can make a few bucks without reducing the quality of your content, that?s fine. But if you really think that subscribers really will actually READ your newsletter from top to end, every issue, which has more adverts and less valuable content ? you are sadly mistaken. Here?s another tip?.. as subscribers get bored with high levels of ads, and lower levels of good quality content, they will read less, which means they will not click on ads (even the good ones), the advertisers will notice that the click0thru rates are low, and will not be willing to pay to advertise in your newsletter or ezine. It?s a vicious circle.
7. Multiple Newsletters. If you run multiple websites, it may be that you try to get subscribers from each one. Perhaps one website is Female Bodybuilders, another is Niche Marketing for Mums, another could be Homeworking Secrets, and then perhaps Direct Mail Tips. Whatever the categories, it is likely that they are all different, and if you promote a newsletter which is meant to target each category, make sure the newsletter content really is targeting correctly. Too many publishers / marketers use this multi-list approach, but abuse it by sending the exact same content to different targeted lists. If you sign up for the Females Bodybuilders Newsletter, and receive content aimed at Niche Marketing?.. wouldn?t you be annoyed?
8. If for some reason you decide to move web-host, this of course, means a new server, with a new email server, new IP address?. etc. The chances are, you will use a shared server, meaning other people will have their website(s) on the same server as you, or others have shared the server before. What this means???..could be trouble for you. Many of the anti-spam agencies, black-list or block emails which are delivered from certain servers or IP Addresses. If by chance, the server you are on, has been used previously by some moron spammer, it may be that it?s the server / IP Address of the server which is blacklisted. This means anyone else (other than the spammer) trying to legitimately send email / newsletters / ezines, could also be blocked. Check first with the web-host provided if their servers are blocked or blacklisted anywhere. If they can?t or won?t tell you, ask them for the server IP address which you can check with certain spam blocking services to see if its already blacklisted. If you web-host won?t even tell you this, find another host.
9. Don?t treat your subscribers as if they are Money-Banks. Some publishers think that they should squeeze cash out of everyone, and do it multiple times a year. Not everyone will buy products or services from you, not everyone will click on the advertising? it might be difficult to believe, but some just like reading articles and good content!
10. If you exclude your readers, you will alienate them. Ask them for feedback, questions, comments, even articles ? and use them or at least reply to them. Readers like to see you showing an interest in their opinions.
© 2005 All rights reserved worldwide.
About the Author: Another article by Gary Durkin Founder of the Internet Advice Center® http://www.InternetAdviceCenter.com
Gary has more than a decade of offline international business success behind him - each day controlling millions of dollars of investments world-wide, and has been doing business online for more than 6 years.