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  1. #1
    Newbie venator's Avatar
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    E-Mail marketing any good?
    Lots of us think of spam including me when reading "e-mail marketing".
    I know their are good opt in mailing lists but they are hard to found between all those spammy sites who are selling 250 miljoen e-mail adresses for only 100 dollars.

    My questions to you if any one of you has some good experience using good e-mail marketing.

    For example if I want to do a mail out wich includes products people really are interested in and they also signd up for it somewhere. Where should I be for good quality mail addresses?

  2. #2
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    I would only send out newsletters to people that have signed up for them on my own site. Those lists that you buy, i would imagine are very poor quality and i think most of us know alot of those email addys on those lists are from people that might have opted in somewhere else but not fully knowingly opted in. Basically SPAM.
    Last edited by Trust; January 27th, 2005 at 11:30 AM. Reason: pancakes are yummy

  3. #3
    Newbie venator's Avatar
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    Yeah that was what I thinking to. So the best thing is just stick to your own newsletters and send them to people who sign upped to your own site..

    But for some people e-mail marketing is realy working, was wondering if their are any on this board who have experience with it.

  4. #4
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I'm with Trust 100% on this one - don't trust any email address that you haven't collected yourself. Even "trustworthy" sources tend to be contaminated with things that shouldn't be there.

    I don't know about others, but I get about a 0.3%-0.5% signup rate for my newsletter, which isn't bad.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  5. #5
    mega crap martyogelvie's Avatar
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    I use email marketing but my email list is mine. Each and everyone signed up from MY SITE. I have just over 1,100 email address' (and counting) and it took me several years to get that many. I keep the list fresh be deleting bad emails when they have been reported bad 2 times in a row. I don't spam them by sending out emails every day or even every week. I send out maybe 1 or 2 a month, very tageted and I get about a dozen or so orders from each mailing.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    As usual, Trusty is spot on. We send e-mails to folks who signed up for our list. We don't sell the list, etc.

    Our open rate is phenomenal and the drop rate is very low.

  7. #7
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    Talking
    even now i am wary of mailing to people who sign up for mailing lists on my sites. confirmation is a must. it works for some industries, that's for sure .. like porn

  8. #8
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    List management can be a nightmare if you try to do it manually.

    I use Topica which is free (but ad supported). I've got maybe 100 individual lists for people who want details on just certain product types, and two big lists one of 5,000 and one 1,000. It handles everything for you too. Sweet.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  9. #9
    Newbie venator's Avatar
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    Oke thanks for the information. For mail sign ups I am now using MyMail wich is free and usefull to backup your lists

  10. #10
    Newbie TB Alex's Avatar
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    Such a touchy subject. I feel as long as you get a double or even triple confirmation from a subscriber you're good to go. If they cause problems for you then you can easily defend yourself. Keep in mind there are people out there who will actually sign up for mailing lists so they can harass you. There are times to be careful and apologize and there are times to shut people down.

    Some of my associates have had a lot of success by using BigHip.com to gather and send lists. Super cheap and easy to get going.

    For large applications I recommend SkyList.com. I've been gathering information from them for about a month now and they are the definition of professional. For example, I got a call 3 minutes after I submitted my question on their site. 5 minutes after that I had a 45 minute training walkthru scheduled the next morning. It is an absolute pleasure to work with them.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Thumbs down
    What Trust said. If I get an email from an affiliate with his links in the email, or links to their site - I report them to the merchant. I am not signed up to anyone's list.

    Most of my SPAM comes from harvested addresses from my sites (comment@blahblah .com and help@blahbla .com) So when someone emails me and says they have something Great for me ! well...

    I don't believe you buy a clean list (or even a mostly clean list) - they do not exist.

    Fred

  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    "I use Topica which is free (but ad supported)."

    I couldn't find the FREE link. I plugged in my minimum requirements and they quoted me $1500.00 per month! Ouch!

  13. #13
    mega crap martyogelvie's Avatar
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    ditto, nothing free from Topica.. (14 days only).

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I'm just starting to harvest my own email addresses from people that visit my sites. I'm curious how it'll work out for me and hope to maintain some solid customers this way. I see it as a way of keeping them in the loop and returning for more. I wouldn't suggest buying email address because nobody wants to receive email from somebody they don't know, period.

    I'd like to know what sort of conversions you see with your newsletters and subscribers. It sounds like marty here is getting about a 1% conversion from his newsletters, meaning for every 100 people he emails, he'll get 1 order. Does this sound about normal? I'm just trying to estimate what to expect. I only have about 50 people so far and hope to start seeing some conversions with my newsletters, but at a 1% conversion it's going to be a while before this really starts adding up.

    Thanks!
    - Scott

  15. #15
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    My email list is 36,000 (we've been around a long time)

    If I do the mailings myself...
    It's time consuming as hec. It's a 2-3 day project

    Removing the bad emails - and the people who unsubscribe - is a weeklong event. And it's a week of no money, as there's no money in removing names! And boring and tedious!

    Then there's hundreds of "There was something in your email that our system thinks is spam and we automatically trashed it" notices.

    And hundreds of "This person doesn't recognize you - you've been placed in a holding folder. Pls log on and manually enter a password so they can add you to their acceptable list"

    I maybe get 25 sales as a DIRECT result.

    I use it more as a "reminder" to check us out

    If I use iBuilder service, they charge 15 cents per email, so it costs $5500 for me to have somone else do it - and those 25 sales don't come out to $5500!

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    "ditto, nothing free from Topica.. (14 days only)."

    I just noticed all the links in CJ say THIRTY days free - I just emailed the AM

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Removing the bad emails - and the people who unsubscribe - is a weeklong event. And it's a week of no money, as there's no money in removing names! And boring and tedious!
    Wow, why don't you provide an interface for people to unsubscribe through your website? I have a box for people to enter their address into that will unsubscribe them automatically. Since my emails go out automatically, I have a script that simply queries my database for valid subscribed emails.

    Then there's hundreds of "There was something in your email that our system thinks is spam and we automatically trashed it" notices.

    And hundreds of "This person doesn't recognize you - you've been placed in a holding folder. Pls log on and manually enter a password so they can add you to their acceptable list"
    This you can simply ignore.

    I maybe get 25 sales as a DIRECT result.

    I use it more as a "reminder" to check us out

    If I use iBuilder service, they charge 15 cents per email, so it costs $5500 for me to have somone else do it - and those 25 sales don't come out to $5500!
    Wow, seems pricy to have somebody else send emails for you. I'd much rather do it myself with my own server. Why haven't you considered hiring a programmer to write something locally for you? It would be much cheaper in the long run.

    - Scott

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Scott,

    I have the unsubscribe option on our support page - most people wait until they get the email

    re: hiring programmer. iBuilder tells you how many people actually OPENED your email - and it's a ridiculusly small amount. So for the time being, I don't want to invest any $$$ in emails

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Scott,

    I have the unsubscribe option on our support page - most people wait until they get the email

    re: hiring programmer. iBuilder tells you how many people actually OPENED your email - and it's a ridiculusly small amount. So for the time being, I don't want to invest any $$$ in emails
    That's a very good point. I need to start tracking how many times my newsletters are opened. I'm just curious, how valuable is the information in your newsletters? I know this is subjective and I don't want to ask what information you provide, but do you think it's on par with many related newsletters or do you feel your information is more valuable?

    - Scott

  20. #20
    mega crap martyogelvie's Avatar
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    Billy Kay,
    I do the same thing.. only on a much smaller scale (1,100 emails).
    When I send out an email, it takes me a few hours to delete all the bad email returns and the unsubscribe. Plus, my ISP will only allow 30 emails recepients per mailing so I actually have to generate some 35 emails (almost an hour) just to send it out.

    I recently checked out an email application called opt in lightning (I think). I believe my2cents recommended it. It looks like a nice application and could handle all of this tedious stuff but does require a couple $100 bucks to roll out. I would rather pay a one time fee vs a monthly subscription. If/when my list gets as big as yours, I cannot imagine doing it by hand as I do now..!

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    In order to further this discussion, who here has tried personalized newsletters? I'm working on making my newsletters more personalized so the information that goes out to each individual is more customized towards their wants and needs. I don't think this is possible with these paid services and would have to be a total custom job. Does anybody here do this and what sort of conversions do you get? I imagine the conversions are much better. I remember reading that the internet is starting to get more personalized and unless you start doing it now, you'll be left behind. Who's started down this path?

    - Scott

  22. #22
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Ive used the emails that merchants provide us

    I've used the emails stores send me as a CUSTOMER (not an affiliate) and redid them with my aff links (if it's good enough for THEM to send, it must be good enough for ME!)

    iBuilder provides pro templates that are seasonal, like Valentine's templates (Hey! Harriet Carter catalog uses them 'cause I rec'd one this morning!)

    I've had merchants custom-make me emails that they wanted sent to my list

    And I've made my own that look just like my site

    I worked hand-in-hand with the AM for a gift certificate merchant for about a month creating a "You waited too long for your xmas shopping - give a gift certificate" email - sent it out a couple days before xmas, and it got ... ONE sale!

    So I think I run the gammut of every kind

    Just speaking for myself, there are more productive ways to spend my time. While I don't do PPC, I always tell myself if I spent that 5 grand with google, it would probably convert better

  23. #23
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Did you go to http://lists.topica.com/ rather than the main URL?
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Ive used the emails that merchants provide us

    I've used the emails stores send me as a CUSTOMER (not an affiliate) and redid them with my aff links (if it's good enough for THEM to send, it must be good enough for ME!)

    iBuilder provides pro templates that are seasonal, like Valentine's templates (Hey! Harriet Carter catalog uses them 'cause I rec'd one this morning!)

    I've had merchants custom-make me emails that they wanted sent to my list

    And I've made my own that look just like my site

    I worked hand-in-hand with the AM for a gift certificate merchant for about a month creating a "You waited too long for your xmas shopping - give a gift certificate" email - sent it out a couple days before xmas, and it got ... ONE sale!

    So I think I run the gammut of every kind

    Just speaking for myself, there are more productive ways to spend my time. While I don't do PPC, I always tell myself if I spent that 5 grand with google, it would probably convert better
    Wow, quite a lot of testing there, but I think the thing you're missing is catering to each individual. Why not survey these people and start breaking them into groups so you can market better? Take all the young men and send them video game deals, take the middle aged women and send them household items, etc. I think you need to get to know your audience a little better before spending any more money on these emails.

    - Scott

  25. #25
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Scott,

    I agree - more you know about cust, the better.

    I use VOLUNTARY DOUBLE opt-in.

    Most only do the one, not the 2nd.

    Of those that do double, none seem to even want to part with their name or email, no less what their favorite color is!!

    Can't tell you how many times Bill Gates or Rock Hudson or Elvis have signed up!!

    Or my favorite: sdfghjhg

    PS: Topica already answered my email. He's aware of the discrep/working on it.

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