Friday, April 13, 2007

Email Marketing - Organic is Better

By Scott Lindsay

Many online businesses look at email marketing as a viable means of directing traffic to their website. Buying lists from a third party can be expensive. This type of email marketing is often viewed as spam because the recipient did not ask to receive the material you sent. Most businesses that use this type of list will work to invite recipients to opt in to future listings with a promise to make this a one-time email unless they actually sign up.

Some ecommerce merchants also use rented lists. This can also be expensive and the list can only be used once. Recipients often have the same feeling about this type of email marketing campaign, which is often viewed as spam.

Organic Email Marketing

This takes longer and is built on a more ‘grass roots’ concept. This type of campaign only relies on those that have already made contact with your business and have willingly provided their email address for future emailings.

This type of ‘opt in’ relies on free membership offers. The visitor willingly provides their contact information in exchange for free membership benefits. This scenario provides a positive means of connection with a more receptive audience.

The good news is the collection of email addresses can be derived from a multitude of sources. If your business receives customer calls you can collect emails by phone. Other possibilities include online web forms as well as tradeshows and other personal contacts.

If you can make it easy to opt in and then provide details in each mailing on how to opt out you will minimize the number of spam complaints your business may receive.

A more organic approach is helpful to the long-term success of your business because it allows you to begin with a smaller group of very interested customers and then continue adding to a list of individuals that places value in what you are sending them.

When you start with a bought or rented list you ultimately wind up in a pronounced adversarial relationship with those who are more interested in keeping spam out of their mailbox than whatever ‘good’ information you might be sending.

It is also a great idea to make sure your valued customers are assured that your email list is not for sale. Provide your recipients with the assurance that no third party will receive their information and that you are concerned about their privacy.

An organic list may be harder to establish, but it is targeting a more relevant group of potential customers who want a reason to trust you. Make sure they find that reason.

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with at: Start your own ebook business with BooksWealth at:

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