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 mis-managed 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.
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.
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.
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.