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1. 40-40-20 Rule

2. Respect Your Recipient

3. Opt-in's Big Payoff

4. Think Like A Customer

5. Write Great Copy

6. Track Your Results

7. Test, Test, Test

Secret #2:  Respect Your Recipient

Just say, "NO!" to spam.

Spam is any unsolicited commercial email. If the prospect didn't give permission to be contacted, it's spam. The best way to build trust is to give power to the people. Opt-in email marketing gives  consumers that power when it respects the right of individuals to choose who may do what with their personal information. To qualify for opt-in, people specifically elect to receive email about topics they choose. They can opt in to receive email from you or opt out to unsubscribe from your lists. Opt-in lists always produce more respondents, who spend more and become much more loyal customers than opt-out lists.

The four "respect rockets" boost email response to a higher orbit

1. Disclosure. Disclose exactly what you are going to do with your list members' information. It pays to respect the privacy promise made in that full disclosure. Don't go sneaking around on your website visitors' computers or stalk people across the Internet with invasive cookies and spyware. What's more, be vigilant that your list vendors are not doing that as well. One of the worst violations of trust and abuse of honest disclosure is appending email addresses to postal mail files of customers or prospects without their prior permission. Online consumers hate that. A recent study by Forrester showed that 76% of respondent were adamantly opposed to email appending. When customers are that annoyed, they will let you know it by taking their business elsewhere.

2. Choice. Give people choices to opt in or out of your list. Don't automatically assume people want to get your email just because they visited your website or even if they made a purchase either online or offline. The mortal sin of many online and offline marketers is to assume that just because someone has bought something from you, you now have the right to spam them mercilessly or sell their private information to a third party (who spams them mercilessly). Frankly, it seriously annoys most buyers when you do that without asking their permission first. If I buy a ticket to a Broadway show, does that give the theater the right to start emailing and telephoning me with offers? Does it give them the right to sell my name to a third party so they can bombard me with unsolicited offers by email, phone, fax and postal mail? Absolutely not! The same goes for opening a credit card or any other customer relationship I have with any vendor, regardless of whether it is online or off.

Give customers the choice of whether or not they want to receive offers from you by mail, email, fax or phone. You may collect fewer names, but the list members who give you permission will be your very best, most profitable customers. Not only is this smart marketing, it is also the law. Manage customer choice correctly and you will drastically reduce the risk of being blacklisted, sued, or in extreme cases prosecuted, fined and even jailed.

3. Access. Give list members access to managing the flow of marketing email. And be responsive to your list members' choices. Opt-in fails if you cannot quickly update you list members' personal choices. Allowing list members easy access to online forms so they can manage subscriptions is simple and affordable to set up and maintain. This form of customer relationship management is one of the most profitable features of any well-run opt-in program.

4. Respect. Respect individual privacy and a person's preferences about what information to receive, when and how often they want to receive it. For some list members, weekly contact may be wonderful. For others, weekly contact will quickly annoy them. Let the list member decide and pay attention to accelerating unsubscription rates. Unsubs are the "canaries in the coal mine". They're your early warning that something is fatally wrong with your opt-in program.

Once is good, twice is better

Building a good list starts with getting permission. The best way to do that is to employ the principles of 100% opt-in, also known as "double opt-in". With double opt-in, every list member confirms that they want to receive your email. Sounds like a lot of hard work, right? Well, the truth is it's not so hard and there's a big payoff in higher response rates and sales conversion for those who do the work. What's more, I use double opt-in as the cornerstone of my Instant Offer Email Campaigns that consistently generate an average of 500% greater response than traditional email blasts.

Opt in or out whenever you want

The best implementation of opt-in also lets people opt out or choose exactly the type of email they want to receive.


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