Some Email Messaging Mistakes to be Avoided

Attract and keep subscribers

There are many reasons why a subscriber list (also opt-in list) should be handled with care, and many things to consider in order to avoid complications that often arise if such a list is mismanaged or abused. When you decide to create a subscriber list, it is important to understand that the list is not just a matter of sending promotional newsletters or catalogs to your subscribers, but rather to manage all aspects of the list.

While there are many ways to invite and entice people to subscribe to your list, there are also a number of steps which must be taken in order to give subscribers incentives to want to remain on your list; and as cumbersome a task this may seem, the more important job is to avoid any problems with the law (CAN-SPAM Act), as well as the internet service provider (ISP) from which the email capability originates.

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Probably the most important thing an email marketer can do to protect his/her business is acknowledge and adhere to the many rules and laws governing email messaging that were enacted to help protect the privacy of the internet users from spamming and unwanted commercial emails. With the popularity of electronic mail as a medium for marketing due to its low cost, many companies have seized upon this medium to do their marketing, and some have, unfortunately, flooded the e-mail accounts of consumers with promotional emails.

List management includes opt-outs

A subscriber list, which is comprised of individuals who requested information by “opting in,” is meant to avoid the annoyance of unwanted email because the list members specifically stated – by their opt-in authorization/confirmation – that they want to receive the newsletters and promotional materials offered by a given email marketer. These subscribers have consented to being on the list by providing a little information about themselves and their email addresses.

However, just as important as getting subscribers to opt-in to their lists, email marketers must recognize the responsibilities they have to their list members, one of which is to provide them with an “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” feature, so that each list member can feel free to stop the emails at any time by simply unsubscribing from the list; because there many reasons a subscriber may want to unsubscribe, as in the case when his/her information was used erroneously to opt-in to the list.

Another responsibility marketers must meet is to keep subscriber lists clean and manageable, which can be done by utilizing the many available tools and technologies applicabler to email marketing in general and opt-in list in particular. Meeting these and certain other responsibilities will go a long way in protecting a marketer’s investment and marketing strategy, as well as increase exposure (more traffic) which will likely be converted into sales and profit.

Marketers must also keep themselves and their businesses out of trouble and potential run-ins with the law and the internet service providers, as mentioned earlier; because keeping their operations legit and clean will enhance the marketers’ credibility and reputation as legitimate business persons, since legitimate sites depend on the site owners – in this case the marketers – being straight and true email marketing strategists.

The following paragraphs consist of some additional thoughts, tips and basics pertaining to email marketing and the nuances involved in managing a subscriber list, as well as a few best practices.

Understanding the unsuccessful deliveries

Unsuccessful deliveries, or undeliverable messages are often referred to as bounced emails, which are those messages that were not successfully received by the intended recipient for a number of different reasons. Bounced emails might be the result of the server being busy at the time delivery was attempted, but can still be delivered at a later time; There are also bounces because the inbox of some recipients may be full at that time.

However, some bounced messages are simply undeliverable forever; and among the reasons for such delivery failure may be an invalid email address, a misspelled email address, or an email address that was abandoned and erased from the server already. So in view of the various reasons that email messages might not be delivered, it is important to understand what those reasons are and take steps to make the appropriate corrections.

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Marketers can manage their lists by putting markings on those that bounce. Erase an email account from your list so that you have an accurate statistics and records as to how many are actually receiving your mail. You may also want to check the spellings of your email addresses in your list. One common mistake is when an N instead of an M is placed in the .com area changing “.com” to “.con.”

Utilizing the “unsubscribe” option

There is really no other way to says this: Always provide an unsubscribe feature in your site and an unsubscribe link in your emails. That having been said, giving your subscribers – or anyone else to whom you send email messages – the option to “unsubscribe” or “remove” their name(s) from your email list is required by law (See CAN-SPAM Act).

So when someone in your list requests to be unsubscribed, always take that request seriously, because if you don’t remove them from your after such a request, all subsequent emails sent to that person will be considered 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.

Pornographic, shocking and disturbing email content? Taboo!

DO NOT send in your newsletters – or provide in any other manner, way or format – content that can be construed as pornographic, shocking or disturbing. It is hard to decipher the age of a recipient and many complaints will likely arise from subscribers receiving this kind of content. Controversial issues should also be avoided so that marketers can prevent themselves from being branded in a negative way by subscribers. They should simply stick to the topic of their website and business.

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If you are an aspiring email marketer, it may help to always remember some of the things covered in this article so that you can have a healthy relationship with your subscribers, as well as operate within the boundaries of what is allowed in sending emails to a subscriber list.

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Making Residual Affiliate Programs Work for You

Affiliate payment structures

The term residual income, when used in the context of long-term income, can be replaced by the term, leveraged earnings which might be the most coveted source of income in the sales profession. The most significant difference between the two methods of earnings might be that residual income is earned repeatedly for a single sale by the individual salesperson, whereas leveraged income is earned repeatedly based on the sales of others (recruits/sub-agents).

It is important to understand however, that leveraged income can be earned without residual payments when group leaders, managers, recruiters and other such agents have utilized their leadership skills to hire, train and motivate other people to go out and make sales that are considered “one and done” with no prospects for repeated payments on the sold item; unlike sales of magazine subscriptions, insurance policies or membership dues, which are paid for on an ongoing basis.

But staying on the subject of affiliate marketing and the various programs and payment structures utilized by online merchants, if you are a webmaster in need of additional income; or you are planning to set up a Web-based business but you do not have a product or service to sell, affiliate marketing may be the best solution for your particular situation, since you really wouldn’t need to worry about creating a product because the merchants will provide them.

Affiliate-merchant relationships

All you would need to have is a website with interesting content that is related to any product or service you decide to market. By joining a particular affiliate program, or by becoming an independent affiliate representing various merchants, you can start earning money right away thereby meeting the financial demands of your unique situation; but in order to ensure that your earnings from sales can be relied upon to come repeatedly, you will have to align yourself with those merchants that offer residual income, a task that may be easier said than done.

To be a good or super affiliate marketer and make the kind of money you expect to make it is important to understand the nature of affiliate marketing as it relates to the kind of business relationship that established between merchant and affiliate. In affiliate marketing, an affiliate agrees to direct traffic to a merchant’s website or product page, and if that traffic is converted into the visitor taking any kind of action like making a purchase subscribing to a service, the directing (referring) affiliate will be compensated.

Compensation may take the form of either a percentage of any sales made in the form of a commission or a fixed fee predetermined upon the application of the affiliate with the merchant’s affiliate program. Based on this kind of arrangement between affiliate and merchant, both having mutual interests in its success and deriving mutual benefits from it, affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular Web marketing methods today.

Set fee versus residual income

In fact, almost every merchant or retailer site today offers an affiliate program that any one can join; and most retailers would entice people to become affiliates or members of their program by promising great benefits like large commissions, lifetime commissions, click through incomes and various other benefits; but would it be reasonable to think that all these affiliate programs offer the same benefits? Read on to learn how reasonable such a thought might be.

Most affiliate programs would pay affiliates a one-time commission for every sale or lead referred to the merchant’s website by those affiliates; and such one-time commissions are usually large – ranging from 15% to a high of about 60%. Other affiliate programs would pay a fixed fee for every click through or visitor referred to the merchant’s site by any affiliate; and programs like this often pay a smaller amount for every click through – usually not amounting to any more than half a dollar, even in the case when no purchase is made but the visitor becomes a lead.

Residual affiliate programs usually pay only a small percentage of a sale as commission for every sale referred by the affiliate to the merchant’s site. This commission is often in the range of 10% to 20% of sales made; and because of this many people ignore residual affiliate programs and opt rather, for the higher paying one-time commission offered by other affiliate programs. So depending on their financial objectives and individual preferences, marketers make their choices.

Contrasting income modes

However, for a marketer to ignore residual affiliate programs based solely on the fact that fees or commissions are smaller would be to forego a reliable and – over the long term – substantial income stream; because despite the fact that residual affiliate programs pay at a lower rate, merchants offering such programs would generally pay regular and ongoing commissions for a single affiliate initiated sale. That means you, as an affiliate of a affiliate program can get paid on a regular and ongoing basis.

Just to elaborate a little further, suppose there are two online merchants both offering web hosting services on their sites. The first merchant offers a one-time commission type of affiliate program that pays $80 for every single affiliate initiated sale. The second merchant also offers an affiliate program, but it is a residual affiliate program that pays only $10 monthly for every single affiliate initiated sale for every customer that opens a hosting account.

Naturally an affiliate may get attracted to the larger commission of $80 being offered by the first merchant, instead of the smaller amount of $10; but by thinking things over before actually getting involved with one or the other, the affiliate may be able to better understand that the second merchant is offering more of an opportunity to earn a larger amount of money since the $10 will be made on a continuous basis for as long as the customer has the account.

Making the choice

So for the same effort of getting one customer to subscribe to the merchant’s service, you get paid monthly in residual affiliate programs while you only get paid once in a one-time commission type of affiliate programs. That having been said, are residual affiliate programs worth promoting? Definitely yes, because you simply get more money from these types of affiliate programs in the long run; and would residual affiliate programs work best for you? It depends, but with the benefits that residual affiliate programs can provide, it would really be unwise to ignore such programs.