3 Things To Avoid When Emailing Your List

3 Things To Avoid When Emailing Your List

When you decide to have an opt-in list, it is not just a matter of sending your subscribers your promotional newsletters or catalogs.  There are many things to consider in avoiding many complications.  While there are so many ways you can make people subscribe to your list, there are also some things you must do to avoid subscribers from wanting to get off of your list. 

Aside from that, you also want to avoid any problems with the law and your internet service provider.  There are many laws and rules that are designed to help protect the privacy of the internet users from spamming and unwanted mails. With the popularity of the electronic mail as a medium for marketing because of the low cost, many company’s have seized the opportunity and have flooded many people’s e-mail accounts with promotional mail.

But, with an opt-in list, you avoid this annoyance because people subscribe to the list; they want to receive the newsletters and promotional materials.  They have consented to being on the list by subscribing themselves, just don’t forget to put an unsubscribe feature (everytime) in your opt-in list so you avoid any confusion.  There may be times when an email account was provided when the real owner didn’t want to subscribe.

It is essential that you keep your list clean and manageable.  Arrange it by using the many tools and technologies available for your opt-in list.  Don’t worry; your investment in this marketing strategy is well worth it with all the coverage you will get which will likely be converted into sales then to profit.

Keep yourself and your business out of trouble and potential run-ins with the law and the Internet Service Providers.  Keep your operation legit and clean.  Your reputation as a legitimate businessperson and a legitimate site depends on your being a straight and true marketing strategist.  As a tip, here are three things to avoid when emailing your list.

1) Take notice of your unsuccessful sends. These are the e-mails that bounce.  Bounced emails, also known as undeliverable messages, are those messages that, for whatever reason, were not successfully received by the intended recipient.

There are bounces that happen or occur because the server was busy at that time but can still be delivered at another time.  There are also bounces because the inbox of the recipient is full at that time.  There are those bounce messages that are simply undeliverable forever.  The reason for this is that it may be an invalid email address, a misspelled email address, or an email address that was abandoned and erased already.

Manage your list by putting markings on those that bounce.  Erase an email account from your list so you have 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.

2) Always provide an unsubscribe feature on your site and an unsubscribe link in your e-mails.  When someone in your list files a request to be unsubscribed, always take that request seriously.  If you don’t take them off your list and keep sending them your e-mails, you are now sending them 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 potential subscribers.

3) Do not provide pornographic or shocking and disturbing content in your newsletters.  It is hard to decipher the age of the recipient and many complaints may stem from these.  Controversial issues also are to be avoided to not be branded by your subscribers.  Stick to the nature of your site and business.

Always remember these tips so you can have a healthy relationship with your subscribers as well as staying within the boundaries of what is allowed in sending e-mails to an opt-in list.

Until next time…

Follow me on Twitter!


Managing All The Information Overload

These days, we are all in danger of “Information Overload”. I read an article some time ago about Information Overload, and that was before much of the Information we are overloaded today even existed. When that article first came out, there was no such thing as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or many of the RSS feeds we have so readily available to us today.

Now, it’s not uncommon for one to have accounts in all of the social networks, and subscribe to hundreds of RSS feeds as well.

One of my clients recently told me he was getting over 1000 email’s a day, and had over 1200 unread items in his RSS Reader.

Is this the ideal way of getting information?

If this sounds like you, then it’s time for you to get a grip on reality and realize that you have about the equivalent of getting a Sunday edition of the New York Times delivered to your door every day of the year!

Over subscribing to free content via RSS feeds and email newsletters is an invitation to “Information Overload Disaster”. You’re probably getting far more information delivered to your in-box and RSS reader than you could ever hope to read.

I’m guilty of bookmarking sites I visit, all with the best intentions of going back there one day, but in reality, I very rarely ever get back there, because in the following days, I’m inundated with even more stuff, more links, more places to get more information.


It’s time to start some RSS and Social Network housecleaning!

These days, more information is published online every 24 hours than you could read in five years. The key to managing it is to be more selective, not less. So ruthlessly unsubscribe to e-zines, RSS feeds, etc. until you get only what you absolutely need.  Even then, you won’t have time to read even a small fraction of what you get. But at least your inbox will be somewhat under control.

I challenge you: Unsubscribe from 10 newsletters today. Remove every RSS feed from your reader (Bloglines, Google Reader, whatever you use) that you know you don’t have (or take) time to read daily. Just unsubscribe from them.

You will feel less like you are in the Information Overload mode, and more like you can handle what you see.

It’s insane that we keep piling on more and more information, when we have less and less time to do our jobs. Where will it all end?

In writing this post, I removed myself from 14 email newsletters or updates I had been getting for a long time, and unchecked 22 of the RSS feeds I had been monitoring. It felt really good!

Are you suffering from “Information Overload?”

Please share a comment below and tell me what you did today to trim some of the fat off of your Information Overload.

In the meantime, FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER (Unless that’s one of the places you choose to “unload”) 😉


Twitter: Why All This Fuss?

Don’t understand what all the Twitter fuss is about or why you might want to use this social networking tool? You’re not alone, but you may be missing out on useful information and professional connections.

Twitter remains a very nascent social network, so if you don’t know how it works or what it does (or you haven’t even heard of it), don’t feel bad. In fact, you’re still in the majority.

What Exactly is Twitter?

Twitter is a free service that allows users to publish short messages of 140 characters or less. These messages are read by “followers” — people who make a conscious decision to subscribe to your messages and have them delivered to their own Twitter home pages.

Each message you post is known as a “Tweet.” In the social media and social networking industry, Twitter facilitates a process known as microblogging or microsharing. Every user is identified by putting an “@” sign in front of their name.

Why Tweet?

It’s important to remember that Twitter is a publishing medium. In many cases, Tweets can be picked up by Google. So remember what you say, especially if you tend to talk business over Twitter (as many people do).

Joining Twitter has value for many people, but it can also be a waste of time if you don’t understand how the medium works and how best to utilize it. My best advice to you is, think about why you would want to do it. Do you want to join because there’s buzz about it everywhere, or just because President Obama is on it? ESPECIALLY NOW, you need to spend your resources and time wisely. Is Twitter a wise move for you?

Though some people use Twitter to keep people in their personal life updated, Twitter has developed a business following. People in a particular industry (say engineering, software development, or public relations) often use Twitter to keep up with news, opinion and happenings in their field, for example. Once you get going with Twitter, this information will come to you.

Twitter should be a place where you want to share common interests and ask insightful questions, and, ideally, read the interesting answers you get back.

I like to think of Twitter as a great tool for “Micro-blogging”. If you have a blog, you should use Twitter to let your followers know when you have posted a new article on your blog, with a link over to the blog. Starting to get the picture?

Most Importantly, understand this:  You’re Publishing: Google Will Find Your Tweets!  So be sure you link to your blog when you tweet! I suggest shortening the URL of your tweet that links to your blog by grabbing a shorter URL at http://TinyURL.com

What you say can affect your blog or business. Your boss, competitors, wife or future wife, etc. You need to remember, it’s publishing!

What You Can Gain

When you go to Twitter to sign up, it says, “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

The best way to make the most use of it is not just answer what are you doing now.  Instead, answer: “What’s important to me?” That changes the conversation and makes value. It takes away some of the minutia and shows you want to talk about something that’s more useful and interesting other than something useless like, “I’m going to lunch.”  Who cares if you’re going to lunch?

I quickly stop following people who have nothing useful to say, so keep that in mind when you start “Tweeting”.

Who Should You Follow?

The early users of Twitter have turned the issue of followers into a bit of popularity contest, and the PR and marketing professionals follow thousands of people in some cases to help tout their brands over the service.

But following a lot of people can create unnecessary noise that will render the service useless o look for other people in your industry who often publish links to things they’re reading, with a short comment on it.

Look for quality people who tweet about something useful. When you first start out, shoot for following 50 to 75 people, then decide who not to follow from that initial list. You’ll know pretty quickly when someone is tweeting a bunch of useless stuff, and when someone is tweeting something helpful.

I personally only follow 26 people (at the time this article was composed). Forget trying to follow 10,542 people… it can’t be done, and it’s a total waste of time to try.

The people you choose to follow should bring something compelling to your life. It’s really sad when people think that it’s important to follow a ton of random people or have people with a lot of followers to be important or get value from Twitter.

Start with people you know. When you sign up for Twitter, you will be prompted to search for friends from your Yahoo or GMail accounts and show if you are on the service. You can also use Twitter’s Search Tool to look for people you might be interested in following.

You don’t need to necessarily know someone personally, but they should relate to your interests. You can follow me on Twitter.

Who Will Follow You?

Not long after you join, people will begin following you. I currently have around 120 or so people following me, and I have not really been trying to add to that list of followers. Invite people on your personal email list to follow you. Maybe clients, customers, and prospects. Before you follow back, make sure you’re going to get something substantive out of their tweets. But most of all, make sure THEY are going to get something substantive out of YOUR tweets.

Remember, because a Tweet is so short, (maximum of 140 characters) it’s even harder than with say, e-mail, for people to pick up context or tell when you’re being sarcastic versus serious. You need to think carefully about how you put things and how they sound. Think about not only your immediate followers but your potential audience, which is the whole Web. Tweets get googled pretty prominently.

How to Sign Up for Twitter:

1. Twitter.com Click on the “Join the Conversation” button in middle of the page.

2. Fill out basic information. This will include your full name, preferred user name, password and e-mail address. Remember, the user name is what people will see with an “@” symbol in front of it.

3. See if your friends are on Twitter. After you fill out basic info, you’ll be prompted to look for friends in your Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail or AOL accounts so you can begin following them if they’re already on the service. You can follow my tweets.

4. Twitter’s suggestions. Twitter will suggest some people for you to follow as well. Check to see if anyone of them are relevant.

5. Setting up your profile. Click on “settings” in the upper right hand corner of your Twitter home page. You’ll be brought to a tab-based menu that helps you build your profile and adjust settings.

6. Fill in the fields. Of particular importance is the “one line bio” under the “Account” tab. You have 160 characters to present yourself to the Twitter community. Many people choose to state their profession, and then maybe something outside of work that interests them as well.

7. Start looking for followers Regardless of how many people you found through e-mail search and Twitter’s suggestions, start looking around for people you might find interesting. Use search.twitter.com.

Be sure to include whether you want someone’s tweets to text you on your cell phone. You can choose this feature for each individual you’re following.  I have a whopping total of three people whose tweets will make it to my cell phone. Be very selective with this option!

Joel Comm has written a book called “Twitter Power” that really goes into a lot of detail as to the “Power of Twitter”. You can find it at most any bookstore, and online as well.

I hope this article has been helpful to you, and will help you decide if Twitter is for you or not. If you found this article useful, tell a friend about it below… use the “Tell Others About This Article” buttons.

Until next time,

Follow Me on Twitter


You Can NEVER Have Enough Backups!

Just a brief post today to say what we’ve all heard so many times. “You can NEVER have enough back ups!”

Recent storms in our area caused us to suffer data loss when lightening ran in on some equipment, burning out both internal and external (backup) hard drives.  I have been working all week just to get back to some form of resemblance of normality, but want to tell you, BACKUP your BACKUPS!

If anyone has sent us any email recently, please resend your mail. I lost ALL email (sent and received) back to August 7th of last year. Long story as to why we didn’t lose it all… but backups on one external drive that I stopped using last August still had all old mail on it… so ALL was not lost. And yes, surge protectors were in place… but most surge protectors will not stop the power of lightening. My office consists of a total of 7 surge protector units, and only the larger, more expensive ones, performed well enough to stop the surge we experienced, and this was not even a direct hit.

Make sure you back up your back ups, and make sure your surge protectors will REALLY protect you, or be prepared to face (someday) what I’ve been dealing with this week.