How Will People Learn About Your Opt In Mailing List
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Someone might first come to hear about your email newsletter from one of your promotional efforts and want to learn more about it.
How can you help this reader by providing more information about your opt in mailing list and ensure that (s)he becomes a regular subscriber? In other words, what is email marketing?
Ways To Build Your Mailing List
1. On a section of your website, provide basic background information of your opt in mailing list. This should include your email list’s name, topic, a brief description of its content and purpose, publishing schedule, price (if any) and instructions to subscribe.
2. The same information should also be available by e-mail to anyone who requests it. The message can be placed on an autoresponder, or you can send it manually to anyone who asks for it.
3. An administrative annoyance for e-zine publishers is the curious subscriber who signs on to your list, but soon discovers that it isn’t quite what (s)he was looking for – and un-subscribes! To prevent this, you can offer email marketing examples and a sample issue of your email marketing newsletter.
New readers can request this sample issue to decide whether or not they really want to become regular subscribers. You might put it up on the website, or deliver it by e-mail auto-responder, where you will include instructions for signing up for your e-zine.
Signing Up To Your Opt In Mailing List
So your subscriber finds you and decides she wants to be on your list. She fills in her personal details on your online form and clicks ‘Subscribe’.
Now what do you do?
Send out a welcome note, of course! That’s the best way to get your relationship marketing going.
In your welcome note, here’s what you can include:
• a short greeting
• a brief description of your e-zine – name, topic, publishing schedule
• details of the ezine’s website
• instructions on leaving the list, if desired
• optionally, a sample issue of your e-zine
• co-promotional messages and advertisements
Include Subscription Information in Every Email You Send
Some email marketers prefer to position this valuable information in the header or near the top. The choice is yours.
The information that MUST be provided includes:
• How can a new reader sign up for your opt in mailing list? Ideally, a website URL and an e-mail address must be available in your email marketing templates.
• How can a current subscriber stop getting your emails? Again, a combination of web URL and e-mail address offering unsubscribe details is desirable.
• If you have had (or are likely to have) problems with your subscription management, it is wise to list a trouble-shooting e-mail address or a customer support help desk for people to write to in case of problems.
In addition, you might include a brief description of your email newsletter and a link (website or e-mail address) to allow a reader to recommend your mailing list to a friend.
Automating Your Opt In Mailing List
When you are starting off with a small subscriber base, doing all of your administrative work – adding new subscribers, welcoming them, answering feedback, un-subscribing readers, sending out good-bye messages – is just a minor annoyance.
But when your list grows to a few thousand readers, the very same functions can become a serious time-waster.
But don’t panic.
Most, if not all, of these functions can be automated.
If you distribute your e-zine using your own e-mail program or software, you’ll need to configure the program’s automatic filtering options to file messages depending on their nature (subscribe requests, feedback, unsub notes) and to automatically respond with a pre-written form letter.
When you use a free distribution service or your own professional program, these functions can be set on the website or in the program’s interface.
How To Use Email Autoresponders
E-mail auto-responders can be used for your brand marketing and to manage various aspects of your opt in mailing list administrative and promotional activities including:
• giving information about your e-zine and instructions to sign up
• sending out a welcome message to new readers
• replying to user feedback
• saying good-bye to readers who choose to un-subscribe
• offering a sample issue of your e-zine to prospective subscribers
• archiving past issues of your e-zine
• distributing your e-zine’s media kit and advertising rate card
• sharing HTML linking code and ads to promote your e-zine
• other promotional efforts
Take your opt in mailing list for a test drive
Once you have finalized the set-up process, test it out by going through the steps your prospective subscribers will follow when they sign up.
• Go to the SUBSCRIBE web page created for your email marketing mailing list and try to sign up yourself.
• Then try doing it by e-mail.
• Then send out a test issue of your e-zine to yourself and see how it looks in your email program.
• See if the message you sent is archived correctly on the site.
• Try out the unsubscribe options offered and see how easy it is to complete successfully.
￼If you are dissatisfied with any stage of the process, seek assistance from the customer service department or from the online FAQ.
If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, consider changing your opt in mailing list host service. Rather than stick with a sub-optimal service, it is better to change hosts right away.
Joining And Leaving Your E-Zine’s Opt In Mailing List
The test of a pudding is in its eating. The strength or weakness of your opt in list’s administration process is a reflection of your email marketing strategy – and you can see it in the way you
• sign up new subscribers
• remove readers who desire to un-subscribe
You should ensure that the entire process is effective, simple and quick (preferably automated) leaving very little chance for error or delay. Otherwise your readers will react strongly.
Another essential feature is to acknowledge all requests – to subscribe or leave your list of email addresses. This gives the reader instant feedback on the outcome of their action.
It may be done on the website itself, by directing new subscribers to a THANK YOU page. Or it may be done by sending out an e-mail message welcoming the new reader to your opt in mailing list or saying good-bye.
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