In the current Internet market, many people are confused as to
how they can use email to build their online businesses, while
consumers are fighting off the evils of spam email. As a result,
we are tackling this most important issue today.
The ideal way to use email to develop your business is by
creating a double opt-in list on either YahooGroups, Topica.com,
SmartGroups.com or FreeLists.org.
I have dozens of these lists in existence myself. Basically
each opt-in list provides a specific talking point or
advertising point that people are interested in. (Examples:
I have a dozen lists for free-reprint articles, 2 lists for
ezine ad swaps, 2 small lists talking about online business,
one for computer help. I also have a couple for advertising
ezines to the public. I have tried safe-lists but the hosting
companies keep deleting those.)
Additionally, I have at times past had up to 5 ezines, but
right now only one. Each of the five ezines were on various
topics --- including computer software, online marketing and
general entertainment --- and all were double opt-in.
Each of the hosting companies allow you to place an ad in
each mailing delivered to your group. With YahooGroups, you
can only place one ad at the bottom of the email. With Topica,
you can place your ads top and bottom. I cannot tell you much
about FreeLists.org since I just learned about them this past
The trick to any opt-in list is providing something based on
a niche interest. Provided your list delivers something of
value to the subscribers, the people will sign up to receive
With the ezine, you would try to provide some type of valuable
information of interest to your target market. By consistently
providing valuable information to your readers, you will be
building the relationships with people who will likely buy
from you in the future.
Let me say one thing here. Do not let an ezine distract you
from your real purpose. Any ezine you develop is a tool to
help you grow your business. Don't fall into the common trap
of starting an ezine to promote your business and then thinking
later that your ezine is your business.
There are in fact several large mailing companies out there
with clean, double opt-in mailing lists for ads, but I must
emphasize care when selecting one of these companies. If the
mailing company cannot promise that their list is double
opt-in, leave them be. Be sure to also get references and
check those references. There are a lot of scammers out there
sending spam to millions of harvested addresses and then trying
to convince you that their mailings are safe. Buyer beware.
Double opt-in means that I as a subscriber request the mailing
then I receive a verification email from the mailing list
telling me that I must follow certain steps to verify my
intentions to subscribe. Double opt-in is literally a method
of getting someone to agree twice to receive future email.
Single opt-in lists can be and are often abused by their owners
or the public-at-large. So avoid single opt-in lists at all
costs. Even the appearance of Unsolicited Commercial Email
(UCE/Spam) can be deadly for your business.
Ezine advertising is a great method of building business, but
this too is very risky depending on your type of business.
Knowing where to place your ads is always the greatest
challenge. Some ezines are great and some are dogs. Some are
expensive and some are inexpensive. Determining the strength
of your ad copy is tantamount to your success before spending
a single dime on advertising in ezines.
There are ezines offering free ads, but they are not worth
much to your advertising bottom line. Most of these ezines
don't have a solid buyers base to them at all. Rather, they
are mostly comprised of sellers who were searching for the
freebie advertisements. Just the same, you can use these to
test your ads before taking your money to the paid ezines.
This is just one of hundreds of ways to test your ads before
purchasing expensive ad space.
Other ways to test your ads is to place them in classified
ad websites, in safe-lists, in general advertising or niche
mailing lists. You could run them in low-cost ezines. You
can also set them up as independent doorway pages which are
submitted to search engines.
There are also FFA pages that can be used for testing, but I
generally recommend against FFA pages because the return is
so very, vary low by the nature of how FFA pages are operated
and used. In my mind, FFA pages simply are not worth the time
or money that you invest in them.
Sites like http://SubmitAds.net permit you to place your ads in
their directory and then send your message to people who will
place their advertisements through your replicated SubmitAds
website. If you were adventurous, SubmitAds actually sports a
nice pay program to enable you to send email to everyone in
their network at the intervals you decide. You may even earn
a few additional dollars by participating in their program.
No matter what approach you take to place and test your
advertising and ad copy, you should be running some type of
tracking to determine the effectiveness of your advertising
in circulation. Without some method of tracking being
employed, your test results are based only upon guess work.
In the real world of business, guess work just does not cut
it. You need to know precisely what is working for you and
what is not working for you.
There is no better way to determine what works and what does
not than to employ some type of ad tracking software. There
are a few companies employing such services, each with their
own advantages and disadvantages, and each with very different
Shop around and see which ad tracking software is best for you
and then use it to make a realistic determination as to what
is working and what is not. Test your ads and your advertising
mediums and track the results produced by each. And when the
day is done, move forward with what has proven successful and
then discard the rest.