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The 3 Most Important Things You Must Do to Keep Your Opt-in List

Posted by nick_niesen on November 1st, 2010

Having an opt-in list is not just for sending subscribers your promotional newsletters or catalogs. Your opt-in list should be used to build a relationship with each and every person who joins your list, but you must do your part to
show respect to those who do decide to subscribe.

As with everything, there are numerous things you need to consider in order to avoid some complications associated with email marketing. While there are so many ways you can get people to subscribe to your list, there are also a few things you must do to avoid those same subscribers from wanting to be removed from your list.

On top of that, you also want to avoid any problems with the law and/or your internet service provider or ISP . There are now quite a few laws and regulations in place that are designed to help protect the privacy of the internet users from spam and unwanted emails. The use of Email in business has become extremely popular because of the low cost and many company's have seized the opportunity by flooding people's email accounts with nwanted promotional mail.

But, with an opt-in list, you don't need to worry about sending unwanted emails because people have chosen to subscribe to your list; they WANT to receive the newsletters and promotional materials from your company. They have consented to being on the list by subscribing themselves.

There are times when an email account has been provided by someone other than the real owner so don't forget to put an unsubscribe link in every email you send to your opt-in list. This will help to avoid any confusion and offer
an easy way for your subscribers to opt-out whenever they want.

It is important that you keep your list clean and manageable by using the many tools provided by either your software of choice or the email/autoresponder host (like http://www.aweber.com/?209794" target=_blank>http://www.aweber.com/?209794" target=_blank>http://www.aweber.com/?209794" target=_blank>Aweber) you use for your opt-in list.

Don't worry, the investment you put into your email marketing campaigns is well worth it as you gain a much wider and far more targeted audience that will in turn increase your sales and bring in the profits you are looking for.

So now you need to ensure that both your business and yourself are protected from those potential problems associated with email marketing and stay in the good books with both the law and your ISP . Keep your operation legitimate and clean. Your reputation as a legitimate business person and a legitimate website or blog depends on your being a straight and truthful

Here are three things you MUST DO to keep your email marketing on track and out of trouble:

1) Take notice of those unsuccessful sends. These are the emails that bounce. Bounced emails, also known as undeliverable messages, are those messages that, for whatever reason, were not successfully received by the intended recipient.

There are different reasons why emails bounce. It could be because the server was busy at the time of your send but can still be delivered later. Or it could be due to the recipients inbox being full. And then there are those emails labeled "undeliverable" that are going to bounce no matter what simply because of an invalid or misspelled email address or because an email address was abandoned and erased already.

Manage your list by flagging those accounts that bounce. Erase email addresses from your list so that you have an accurate statistic and record as to how many are actually receiving your mail. You should also check the spellings of the email addresses in your database and watch for things like .con instead of .com or misspelled host names like hotmial instead of hotmail or even those addresses mixing up the @ sign possibly with the ! or #.

Another way to avoid misspelled or incorrect addresses on your list and ensure those that you are adding to your list ACTUALLY subscribed themselves, is to use the Double Opt-in method. This method sends a confirmation link out to anyone who subscribes and will not activate their subscription in your database until they personally have confirmed their
email address. Now you will have served two purposes...you have double checked the email address is legitimate and ensured that the person who subscribed truly does want to receive your emails.

2) Always provide "unsubscribe" methods and options on your website and include unsubscribe links in every one of your mailings. When someone on your list sends a request to be unsubscribed, always take it seriously and remove them immediately. (If it's sent personally to my main contact email, I always email them back letting them know they have been unsubscribed
then save both theirs and my emails in case of further dispute) . If you don't take them off your list and you keep sending them your emails, you are now sending them spam mail.

When you are reported as a spammer, you and your business can get into a lot of trouble. You can be reported to the authorities and maybe blacklisted by many internet service providers. You will lose a lot of subscribers this way and many more in potential subscribers.

3) Avoid any pornographic or shocking and disturbing content in your newsletters. You can't know who the person reading your email is and what may offend them. Keep your emails clean and family friendly at all times. Controversial issues should also be avoided. If you focus on the nature of your business and stay clear of anything that could potentially be considered harmful or offensive you should avoid any problems.

So, keep these 3 tips in mind when preparing your next email. Build a strong and healthy relationship with your readers, show them the respect they deserve and you'll find yourself growing a very successful opt-in list full of people truly wanting to read your emails and purchase what you have to offer.

Also See: Email Marketing, Email Address, Unwanted Emails, Internet Service, Those, Opt, Emails

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