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Mailing List

mailing listBulk Email list is a marketing asset for the marketer. It is used by Internet retailers (On-line) as well as by ordinary retailers, not on the Internet (Off-line). When the list is of high quality, it could prove to be very valuable. However, compiling such a list is not an easy task, and using it must be conducted with care in order to  avoid being dismissed by the browsers who would consider our Email as Spam mail.

This article will discuss topics concerning the Bulk Email list and the proper way to use it online. We will try to answer questions such as how to compile such a list, the importance of the quailty of such a list, how to update and preserve the list,  and how is it possible to translate it into actual sales and making money.

One of the most common mistakes that web developers make is trying to sell their website or their product to the browser, instantly and without adding  a function that would allow the maintaining of the relationship between the customer and the web developer, on a later phase. Many websites use slogans such as, "Purchase Now" trying to draw the browsers into buying his products and services, but these slogans are usually ineffective and even harmful.

In most cases, the browser does not make a purchase on his first visit.
Researches show that an average buy over the Internet is conducted after 10 visits on the website, whereas a browser who makes the purchase on his first visit is very rare. Therefore, an attempt to sell a product on his first visit is insufficient. Therefore, the marketer should invest his energies on maintaining the relationship with the browser in order for him to revisit the website, and in accordance with the statistics, after 10 visits, it is likely that the browser would make the purchase.

Some of you would probably say, "Well, our website is fairly interesting, so the browser would definitely want to visit it again and eventually to purchase the product." As a matter of a fact, it is not that likely to happen. Even if the website is interesting and even if the browser had meant to return, he would forget his intentions after he will surf onto the next website and concentrate on the new information he was just exposed to. I do not rule out selling attempts, and building an interesting website as means for sale. Nevertheless, it is not enough.
Take charge and make the browser want to come back and make the purchase.

What is a Bulk Email list?
A Bulk Email list is a database of some sort which contains a list of potential customers and their details. A minimal list contains the browser's name and his email. Usually the data is being kept on a simple text file when a certain symbol, such as a comma, separates the fields. For instance:


aviron_a@domain.com
shmooelron@domain2.com
david_alon@alonim.com
beni_a@somthing.com
colmbo@company.co.il
bill_cool@enother.net
Etc.

That type of a file can be handled, monitored and delivered by softwares and scripts, to a virtual circular, an E-paper or an Email, automatically.

Bulk Email List as a Marketing Tool:
One of the most important tools to maintain a reoccurring relationship with the browser and achieving our marketing goals is the Bulk Email list, that is if you use it properly. There are many ways to compile such a list, but the guiding principle is that the list must be exclusive and qualitative, and not one of browsers who are not sure of what they are after or lack the financial means to complete the transaction or browsers who look for bargains. There is a huge difference between closing deals with browsers from a qualitative list and closing deals with browsers who are not, or worse - browsers from a junk mail.

The importance of the quality of the list:
There are different levels of quality when it comes to Bulk Email lists and the quality of list has a heavy weight in the final outcome. In principle, as the quality of the list is better, the list is more difficult to compile.

Junk Email (Spam):
It is extremely easy to compile such a list. Simply offer something for free, fill up your website with keywords such as "free", "coupons", "free samples", "gifts", etc. There are many other methods to pull in browsers who look for free stuff; force the browser to submit into the bulk mail list in order to receive your gift. Do not ask the browser to verify his email address and do not make him break a sweat. Market your website this way or another and your list would grow wider. You may also purchase ready-made lists. There are even a few automated spying softwares that know how to scan websites and pull out of their email addresses. That creates a poor quality list or a junk mail. That list is the opposite of what we want, because the list has probably nothing to do with people who are interested in your products or services and do not even want to buy from you. These people actually look for free stuff, or worse. These people might not be interested in being  a part of your list, since their email address was cheated out of them. To my opinion, Spam mail is a negative and immoral act which  on the long run would only damage whoever is using this technique. Eventually, all the junk mail techniques create an ill reputation for the decent marketers over the Internet, causing mistrust, and ruining it for everyone else.

A high quality list:
In my opinion, it is:

1. a list to which the browser applies on his own free will.
2. a list that is specific and not for general purposes.
3. a list that is composed of people who wish to receive information about it's topic.
4. a list to which the browser was added, only after his email was verified.
5. a list that allows the browser to pull himself out of.

A high quality list is a whole different ball-game. it is much harder to compile such a list due to the mistrust between the browser and the website who asks the browser to join the list, and that is as a result of the "wonderful" work that the spam mail and junk mail have done. People are simply afraid to join these lists and submit their personal information.

In Conclusion, the difference between a high quality list and a poor quality list is the effort invested by the potential customer to get himself into the list. Who ever receives a free product and submits easily contributes to the poor level of the list. On the other hand, when someone has to go an extra mile in order to get into the list, it means that he is actually interested in the fields of area and the products offered by the marketer and that he is actually looking for some more information. That is the proper way to create a high quality list. Obviously the main issue is finding the right balance. If we make it too hard on the potential customer, then we will have a great list, though it would be empty because no one would want to take the effort getting into the list.

An example for a proper way to build a list:
One way to do it is to develop a product (such as E-books) of high value and high quality - the quality is most important to the customer and usually draws the potential customer, and that is important in order to maintain the relationship between the two parties which would eventually lead to the browser's wish to be part of the list. A second way is finding websites, communities and newspapers that work in the same area of interest, who look for high quality contents for their subscribers. A third way would be contacting these community managers and offering them free products, plus benefits in order to convince them to take the product under their wings and spread it among their customers.
The product itself must include information concerning the best way to enter the list, for additional information.
Important: Never force the browser to apply the list in order to get a free product. That leads to poor quality lists; when someone submits to the list voluntarily, it means that he is interested and that enriches the list.

Off-line marketing with the Online marketing
Another way to create a high quality list is combining the offline marketing with the online marketing. For instance, emailing a circular to potential customers in which you explain to them that entering your website is in their best interest, since they would gain something by doing so. The customer must take an actual action; he must copy the website's URL off the circular, open his Internet browser, enter the website and submit. This is quite an effort and whoever makes such an effort, enriches our list greatly.

Nonetheless, no list is any good unless it is used for a Follow-up
(establishing a relationship)

Statistics show, that in order to close a successful deal, it takes an average of 10 communications between the website and the potential customer. Therefore, it is forbidden to stop the communications prior to 10 communication or before he asked to be pulled out of the list.

But why would anyone want to join the list? People don't like advertisements.. and what is a submission form..?

All this and more on the next article..

So... Till next time, Good-Luck
Rami Ben-Ami and Staff

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