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The Truth About Email Marketing!

 


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       ** DEMC ** Volume VIII No. 17 **
        The Truth About Email Marketing!
    Serving the Internet Since November 1995

Quote for today:

"No one succeeds without effort ... Those who succeed owe their success to their perseverance." - Ramana Maharshi _________________________________

What's In This Issue - Features

1) Editor's Note: "Are You Ready For The Email Wars?"
2) Email Marketing Insights: "Re-Evaluating Your Email Lists"
3) Feature Article: "Combine Email Marketing with Your Affiliate Programs The Right Way!"
4) SOHO Help Desk: "List Building Tip"
5) DEMC's - Advertising Information


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======================

1.

Editor's Note:

"Are You Ready For The Email Wars?"

Over the last week, I've received a number of emails as well as phone calls from subscribers all raising the same concern. Small businesses are afraid to email their in-house permission list. These business people fear they will be accused of sp^mming if they email their lists and as a result they'll loose their web hosts, email hosts, etc..

In the past a complaint here and there meant nothing. If someone complained about how they became subscribed to DEMC, I simply removed them from our subscriber list and moved on. Today, however, with the war against sp^m heating up, there is a need to be more cautious.

Now 26 states have varying anti-spam laws. As I write this note, in Washington, DC the US Federal Trade Commission is holding a Forum on what to do about proliferation of unsolicited commercial email. You can learn more at their web site: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/spam/index.html .

And earlier this week, AOL, Yahoo! and Microsoft/MSN announced they're combining force to launch an all-out industry offensive on spam.

In all likelihood spammers days are numbered. The question is will small businesses marketing with permission email lists become collateral damage in this war? Or is there a future for email publishing?

I believe, as do most Internet marketers, that there is a future for email marketing and publishing. Yes, there are increasing pressures against spammers. The important point to remember, however, is that you are not a spammer. An accusation or two does not make you spammer.

The reality of the situation is that if you publish by email you are going to receive complaints. Rather than let the complaints stop you from emailing all together or lead to a problem with your host, be prepared for them to arrive.

There are steps you can follow to defend your business. You can not prevent the false accusations but you can seriously diminish them as well as any damage they may cause if you are prepared. Here are 5 precautions to take when developing your in-house permission list.

1) Make it very clear that people are subscribing to your list and that you will be following-up.

This is the most common cause of complaints. People request a report or check off a box on a web form and they do not realize they have subscribed themselves to a list.

Make your subscription process up front and memorable. Let people know when they request your report, ecourse or ebook that they will be subscribed to a list if you plan on doing so. Realize though that just adding people to a list after they've requested a single report from you is likely to lead to problems.

A better strategy is to offer your report, ecourse or ebook and then make your list subscription a separate second request. Thus once people request your report they'll have to send in a second request to actually be added to your in-house list.

2) Use double confirmation tactics.

Instead of delivering your information by email immediately or subscribing people to your list upon their initial request, ask for verification. Send people a confirmation email upon their first request and make them reply back to you in order to verify their interest.

Using this strategy gives you a double confirmation record for your subscribers, which is very strong evidence against accusations.

3) Keep records of subscribers emails which grant you permission.

Your best defense against a complaint is a copy of the email the individual sent to you requesting to be subscribed to your list.

Simply store their permission email confirmations in an email folder. Then should you ever need proof, have a search strategy in place for quickly pulling up the individual's verification email.

4) Have a Privacy Policy link with your subscription form and confirmation.

Your privacy policy should clarify what if anything you do with your subscriber's information. It protects your subscribers from you dispersing or selling their information. Your policy also protects you when you state that by confirming their subscription they give you permission to send them your email updates.

5) Honor remove requests and delete bounced messages promptly.

Maintain your lists daily. Immediately remove individuals who request it. Better yet, have an automated process in place to allow them to remove themselves from your list. Emailing individuals after they have asked to no longer receive your email is a common source of complaints and easy to avoid with proper list maintenance.

Bounced undeliverable addresses are a major cause of ISPs filtering or blocking your email. Get rid of addresses on your list which are often full or hard to send email to. You may loose a valid subscriber or two, but believe me that's better than having all your email filtered.

Following these list management strategies will build a solid permission based in-house list for you that you can email without fear. The question you're probably asking now though, is "What do I do with the lists I already have, where I did not follow these precautions?"

Today's "Email Insight" column discusses that issue and provides you with some suggestions. Plus for some great strategies and tactics on the best way to build-up your in-house permission list, be sure to review the rest of today's issue.

Abbie Drew
DEMC Editor
mail@demc2.com


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2.

Email Marketing Insights:

* Exclusive *

"Re-Evaluating Your Email Lists"
By: Jean Bim

This month, I take a break from list building strategies to give some helpful advice to DEMC subscribers who generate business revenue from their email marketing efforts. Of course, if you are new to the Internet, I expect you'll find this article of interest as well.

As you, I and everybody else that uses email knows, the SPAM problem is going from worse to worst if such an expression exists. Since January, I have heard of businesses going under either because of wrongful accusations or an inability to get their emailing out to subscribers because of filters. Both problems have had a direct impact on their bottom-line and they've had to close down. My point is that email marketing is no longer the magic bullet that all of us used to rave about a few years ago.

Don't get me wrong, email marketing is *still* one of the best marketing techniques to drive traffic and conversions on the Internet. But it's harder and riskier than previously and the results are no longer guar^nteed. If you know first hand what I am talking about, it's time to either intensify or diversify your online promotional efforts.

Intensifying your email marketing efforts mean finding ways to improve your email conversion rates. Depending on your situation, here are some options.

If you already have a list you first should evaluate your conversion rates. If you are seeing poor response to your mailings you need to investigate is your email getting through. Next you need to find out if your emails are being filtered into a junk email folders. You also need to determine if your subscribers are reading your messages.

Seeding your mailings with tester addresses from various email services will tell you if your email is getting through and how it is being filtered. You also should send a few of your subscribers from various ISPs individual messages and ask them if they're receiving your mailing. In addition, use tracking URLs in your messages to help you determine the open rate of your messages as well as click through ratios.

If you find your list mailings have poor delivery, regular complainers and/or weak conversion, these are all signs that your list may be in trouble. It probably time to make some tough decisions and serious sacrifices.

For example, you might consider dumping your subscribers with fr^e email accounts, such as @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com and any other trouble email addresses. Another option would be to make all of your current subscribers verify their subscription with a mandatory double confirmation registration.

If you use either of these strategies, you will lose readers and your list will shrink. However, you will still be in business, rather than shut down from complaints or blocked out completely. You'll also have the opportunity to continue to promote to your remaining list and over time you'll collect new better subscribers who actually read your email.

In the long run, it will be worthwhile and *very* profitable. Think of the tale of the house built on sand vs. the other built on rock.

To encourage you, "listen" to this: one publisher I really respect for his many quality list building tactics still gets about 2000 subscribers a month without any "out of this world" effort. I'll bet many DEMC subscribers don't even have 2000 subscribers!

Fortunately, any serious publishers who wants to can attract and retain thousands of subscribers each month. It's just a matter of doing the work. (For a resource on how to build your list visit: http://tinyurl.com/al88 )

If you are new to email publishing or if you're struggling to build a small list don't worry, email marketing is not dead. It is just harder than the past few years. I still strongly recommend building your own in-house list and using double confirmation tactics.

Next month, I will discuss how you can diversify your online promotional efforts to make more money. Until then all the best in your current promotion efforts and may you get as many subscribers as you want.

###
Jean Bim is not a marketing guru. Just a person dedicated to helping others succeed using the Internet as a business vehicle. To see people that are achieving some extraordinary results online see: http://www.mikino.com/?start7.html


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3.

Feature Article:

* Exclusive *

"Combine Email Marketing with Your Affiliate Programs The Right Way!"
By: Denise Ryder

Affiliate Programs are huge today and of rightly so. They provide people with the opportunity to make a residual income with very little cash output, and of course everything is already done for you. All you have to do is promote.

Now, this article isn't focusing on Affiliate Marketing, but it is does suggest a few effective ways for maximizing Your List building potential.

You already know that in order to be successful online, you need a list...and when I say list, I am referring to Your List. (You will see why I highlight Your in a second).

Makes sense...right? I mean which would you rather have, a nice warm, accepting list of individuals with whom you have built a good relationship with and who are receptive to your recommendations?

or....

Having to continually go out and drive new traffic to your site in order to make that sale?

Think about the process you go through for a second. You join an affiliate program, use their ads and place classifieds in newsletters. The link you use is sending prospects to your affiliate "page."

From there, your affiliate program gathers into the "system" only those who; buy or sign up. You are only able to build a list based on those two criteria and because of that, you are missing out. You are missing out on those "others" who have been to your page and maybe aren't ready to buy, but would be if ONLY they had some additional follow up contact with you.

Even if you wanted to contact these "others," you aren't able to because your affiliate program doesn't allow you to make any changes to your (or rather their) web page. Which means that you are not able to maximize on your list building potential.

So, how do you fix this problem?

There are actually a few things you can do.

First of all, let's start with your mindset. This is the key. What I want you to do from here on out is always ask yourself this one key question...

"How/what must I do to add on to "MY List."

If you are using classifieds to market your affiliate program, then ask yourself that question and instead of sending prospects to your affiliate page, send them to a Report/eCourse instead. See what just happened? You have now added a name to Your List, instead of sending them to your page and risk the chance of losing them altogether.

There is another way to help you build your list and market your programs at the same time. Create a theme-based web site of your own.

I hear the groans. I know one of the reasons affiliate programs are so big is because they have a page for you. But let me explain why you really need a site of your own.

How many of you have been playing a little leap frog...jumping from program to program because nothing is making you money? It's ok to admit it because you aren't alone, there are 1000s of people in the same boat.

Stop and think for a second the effect all this jumping is having on you and your chances of making a residual income:

1. You are not focused, and
2. You are ALWAYS starting over from scratch.

Aren't you tired of that?

That is the whole intent of having a site of your own. One that is based on a theme and loaded with good, quality content. One that allows you to build a list that is YOURS.

You don't have that full capability with an Affiliate Program.

If you quit the program or "knock on wood" they bite the dust, and trust me it does happen. Then all that hard work you put into marketing that program has been lost. You don't own the page, you don't own the list, so as a result you are always starting over...each and every time.

But...

If you had your own way to build your list and added your own web site, then you have COMPLETE OWNERSHIP. Your List is YOURS so if you quit a program not a problem, the bottom line is that list (your baby) is going with you.

Now, don't go into panic mode and think that I am saying Affiliate Programs are useless...That is NOT what I am saying. What I am trying to get across to you is...YES participate in them, but work smarter...not harder.

Doesn't that make sense to you?

Excellent, now about YOUR site...

Visitor's are looking for CONTENT...NOT a hard sales effort being thrown at them. What are YOU more receptive to, someone who provides you with good information so that you are better able to make an informed decision. Or, someone who is trying to hard sell you. If you go for the good information choice, then what makes you think the rest of us are any different?

So, you have a site of your own. A site that is not an exact replica of your affiliate page but one that is theme-based with content that relates to your program(s). One that has the opt in tools like a Report/eCourse or Subscription that is building a good list for you.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Let's look at an Affiliate Program that sells leads. You make a commission off of the lead packages you sell.

On YOUR SITE (not your affiliate page) you could have a theme built around "leads." Your focus could cover:

1. How to generate your own leads,
2. What to look for when purchasing leads,
3. How to follow up with leads,
4. What to follow up with,
5. Teach someone the proper way to follow up...

Through your content you have taught your prospect everything they need to know about leads. You have developed a trust with them and by sharing this information you have become the "lead expert" in their minds.

Wrapped within the content of your various information, of course, your Reports/eCourses and maybe even a Subscription to your newsletter... these are your tools for building your list. Also built within your content you mention your affiliate program in a non-threatening or hard sell way. In doing so, you now have a prospect that is open to clicking to your affiliate page and buying what you have to offer.

You even have the potential to add income streams. Looking at the list above you could sign up for an autoresponder program, because a prospect is going to need that...and who better to get it than through you, right?

The main thing is, what started as one income stream (your original Leads Program) has now developed into 2-3 income streams.

And of course, let's not forget about YOUR LIST that follows you wherever you go.

Does that make sense now???

By all means participate in Affiliate Programs, they are an excellent source of commissions for you. But, market them the right way, through your own site, where you can plug- in opt in tools to build a list and build a relationship with ALL your visitors and prospects.

Resources:

Affiliate Masters Course - if you want an eCourse which will take you step by step through the process of building your own theme-based web site, this is THE course to have. It is intense, but it is well worth it and it WILL pay off for you. mailto:tamsproven-web-tactics@sitesell.net

Autopilot Income Streams - you STILL NEED to provide a prospect with a good reason to give you their email address. Yup, you need to write a Report or eCourse. It is easier than you think and this eBook will take you step-by-step. Plus, you receive Full Resale Rights and 3 hours of Coaching from me. Check it out here... http://emarketing.hypermart.net/ais/index.html

###
Denise Ryder is a Marketing Coach and is owner of ProfitSpace Newsletter. She also produces a Weekly Marketing Brief that you can sign up for and use to start building your own opt in list. For more information email mailto:mbrief@a1ebiz.com


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~/~ SOHO Help Desk ~\~
http://www.demc.com

"List Building Tip"

Today's SOHO Help Desk offers a tip and a list of questions you should answer for your business before you develop your in-house email list.

If you have valuable tips, promotional ideas or questions that you would like to be presented to your fellow DEMC subscribers, all you have to do is submit them by email to - mailto:helpdesk@demc2.com

And, remember participating in the SOHO Help Desk is a great way to get free exposure for your business as we include your tag line and contact URL with your message.

=== List Building Tip ===

From: Mohamed Rabea

"Build or Buy - How Should You Build Your In-House Email List?"

The easiest way to acquire an email list for your ezine or email marketing is to buy subscribers. It's not too expensive, to pay for subscriber sign-ups through a co-registration service. You'll receive a long list of names and email addresses.

But if there is one thing I've learned as the owner of an ezine, it is that the easy road is not always the one that brings you the best results. The problem with buying subscribers is that none of the people on that list know who you are. When they receive an email from you, most likely they will just delete it without bothering to open it.

That is why it is so beneficial to build your own in-house email list. Yes, creating a list from scratch is the more difficult and time-consuming solution, but at least it is a solution.

Email marketing and ezine distribution aren't about blasting A bunch of strangers with sales pitches and information. If you really want to achieve results with your email list, you need to build your own.

Here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself when building your email list:

*Who is your target audience and what do you have to offer them?

*What kind of relationship do you want with the recipients of your emailings?

*What method or methods will you use to collect email addresses? Web forms, registration or subscription forms, trade shows, telephone contacts and sales calls are all viable ways to get the email addresses of people who will be interested in what you have to offer.

*Will your emails come in the form of ads, newsletters, deals and specials, company announcements and press releases, or discussion lists?

*Will you handle the creative aspects of your mailings, such as copywriting and editing, or will you need a little help?

Once you're ready to start building your list, use other's lists to help you get started. You can recruit subscribers for your list by renting another's in-house list to send out an announcement. You could also try taking out an ad in an email newsletter or discussion list.

Regards,

Mohamed Rabea
Owner of one of the Internet's most popular business and marketing ezines, available from http://www.BizPioneer.com. Get the ultimate marketing tips, tricks and strategies to make your business more powerful than ever. Contact Mohamed Rabea by phone at 202-749-9758 or email to info@bizpioneer.com .

=== Answers For Arjun ===

From: Arjun Kumar

>How can a Paypal International user get cash (check) from
>his Paypal account, if he don't have an American Bank
>account? Is there any intermediate company which do
>this service?

From: Michael-D Crawford

Hi Arjun

You can set up an account with Egold then send your funds to and from PayPal. There will be a fee to transact with Egold. All details are at the site.

May Good Fortune follow YOU always.

Michael-D Crawford

===

Send in your feedback for an upcoming issue. Email your questions, advice and/or thoughts to: mailto:helpdesk@demc2.com

Be sure to include your SIG and contact URL with your post as we'll be sharing any viable ideas/information in an upcoming issue of DEMC E-Magazine.

======================

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