Monday, June 11, 2007

Using Opt-in lists and Smart Marketing

How much time do you spend reading unsolicited email? If you are like the majority of consumers, very little. Surveys show that 70% of ‘spam’ (email that you did not request) goes unread. That means at least 70% of net users did not open them email, did not read through it, and did not click on the link to the sales page. This article will discuss the alternative to unsolicited email: opt-in lists.

In online commerce, getting your product to the right buyer is absolutely vital. But what kind of customer do you want? Do you want to reach every potential lead on the internet? Do you want to flood email in-boxes around the world with your products? Or do you want to find the best match for your products? Opt-in lists are an excellent way for you to reach that special customer with your goods and services.

Not all lists are the same, so beware. Opt-in lists are not randomly generated lists that allow merchants to spam customers. Opt-in lists are populated by people who have agreed to receive email from specific types of marketers. If you go to a gardening web-site and sign up for their mail list, you have opted in. If you allow this site to share your email with other gardening sites, you have opted in again. Net consumers frequently share their email in this way, and are usually very happy to do so. It is a simple and effective way to get offers and information from not just one vendor, but many, and most consumers welcome these emails.

There are two basic types of opt-in lists. The first is collected by the merchant herself from her own page, and can be as simple as an email link stating that you, the merchant, will send occasional information to your customers. The people who click this button want you to write them, and they are by far the most likely to buy from you again. The second type is a list purchased from a reputable researcher, a list compiled from willing buyers who have expressed an interest in your product or a similar item. Remember, however, that the key distinction is that the email addresses on both of these lists were willingly shared by their owners.

One of your goals as a work-at-home businessperson is to put your products into the hands of the people most likely to buy it. You’ve written stellar sales copy, and your product is unique and highly desirable, so why waste your time and effort trying to reach people who have shown no interest in it? Random email lists have response rates as low as 1%, and some lists never generate a ‘click-through’ to your site. Purchased opt-in lists, on the other hand, can generate a 10% visit rate, or higher. It makes good business sense to reach the right people with opt-in lists.

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