Whether you run an info site a membership site or an e-store a mailing list is a MUST for any web business. Mailing lists are an excellent way to stay in touch with your visitors and previous customers alike. You can send them regular newsletters telling them of updates or special offers at your site. This ensures they don’t forget about you and come back regularly.
You can even run several mailing lists for different purposes. You may have a regular newsletter mailing list and a separate special offers list.
Some Important Things To Consider When Running Mailing Lists
Be careful! Sending out a lot of emails can result in spam accusations. Make sure ALL your mailing lists are double opt-in. Put simply double opt-in means this: The user signs up for your mailing list, but before they are actually added to the list they are sent a confirmation email which contains a link they must click. This stops other people signing them up for your list and greatly reduces the risk of spam accusations against you.
When sending out your newsletters or emails try to be original with the subject of your message. Avoid terms like “Special Offer” many free email services have powerful spam filters in place and with a subject like “Special Offer” your subscriber may never receive the email.
Many websites annoy their subscribers by sending too many newsletters or emails. Don’t send them just for the sake of it. We recommend a newsletter be no more than once a week and special offers maybe twice a month. Annoy a subscriber with too many emails and they will simply remove themselves from the list, which defeats the object.
Make It Easy To Unsubscribe
Just as important as making your list double opt-in is making it easy for the user to remove themselves from your list. Every email you send should have a simple unsubscribe link should the user no longer wish to receive your emails. Understand this, subscribers will come and go some will stay with you for a long time others will not. As a webmaster make it your aim to run an honest and acceptable mailing list.
How Do You Get People To Sign Up?
There are a few ways to achieve this, you could offer them subscription when they register for your site when they buy a product from you or you could offer a mailing list sign up form on the main pages of your site. Want to really get people signing up? Offer a free report or bonus as an incentive to join your list. We can help you with this just pop in a support ticket and ask.
Do I Need To Buy Mailing List Software?
No you don’t. In the past, we would have recommended you have your own mailing list program which would have set you back at least $100 for a decent one. We no longer allow mailing scripts to be run on our servers as there is a much better alternative. We now recommend you use an external marketing list provider. The company we recommend is Mail Chimp.
With Mail Chimp. you can set up your initial mailing list for a new site free of charge.
If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. No expiring trial, contract, or credit card required.
As your list grows and gets bigger you can pay for your mailings either using credits or just get a monthly subscription.
By the time it comes to paying you should be making money from your mailing list so that will not be an issue.
Why an external provider?
1. They are experienced at delivering a lot of emails so your newsletters will not slow down the server when sending and you will not be using up your own bandwidth.
2. NO expensive mailing list program to buy or keep updating
3. Their service is fully spam compliant and they will even advise you if your subject lines or content are at risk of looking like spam.
Once you have created your mailing list at Mail Chimp. if you need help adding the form for your users to sign up to your website just open a work request support ticket and we can take care of that for you.
You can sign up for Mail Chimp Free Here
In summary, a mailing list/newsletter can be worth a fortune to your site over the years. It keeps visitors coming back to your site. When your mailing list is large you can even sell advertising to other webmasters in your newsletter. And don’t forget people send copies of emails to their friends.