• Why I Don’t Send Promotional Email “Blasts” to My Mailing List

    I have been sending out electronic newsletters for BusinessInfoGuide.com subscribers email marketing for small businesssince 2004. In fact, the first newsletter went out to a whopping eight subscribers. Today it goes out to thousands–and my mailing list has maintained a remarkably low unsubscribe rate, which I believe is due in large part to the fact that I don’t send out email blasts.

    Almost every week I’m asked to promote something via email marketing. From book launches and special events to new affiliate products and must-have programs, it seems that there is no end to the number of “opportunities” to promote to my mailing list. In many cases there is affiliate revenue offered. From as little as $5 to hundreds of dollars, the potential pay-outs are meant to entice.

    While I know many marketers make a substantial part of their income from affiliate fees earned from mailing list promotions, I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to do business that way.

    When I sign up for a new mailing list, there is nothing I find more annoying than receiving constant promotional announcements. Sending me endless offers is the quickest way to get me to unsubscribe. Unfortunately, many marketers know that they will lose subscribers and simply don’t care. Their model involves a churn and burn strategy. For every subscriber lost, they aggressively work to add two more subscribers. So though they may have a high unsubscribe rate, they simply focus on adding more addresses to their list.

    Imagine if your favorite retailer operated this way. What if you walked through a department store where sales people lined the aisles trying to sell you socks, gloves, weekend get-aways, and more? What would happen if you knew that every time you walked in there, you would get attacked with offers? Would you shop there again? Would it make sense for the retailer to brush you off and move on to the next “victim”? Hell no!

    And so this is why I have chosen not to do business that way.

    Am I leaving money on the table? You bet.

    Does that bother me? Not a bit.

    I’d rather earn the respect and loyalty of my subscribers by providing valuable content. And when I do have something to offer—something from my own bank of products and services—they will know it’s as valuable as the content I provide.

    Filed Under: Online Marketing by SC

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    About the Author: Stephanie Chandler is an author of nine books including Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business and The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan: Simple Strategies to Build Your Audience and Sell More Books. She is also founder and CEO of Authority Publishing, specializing in custom book publishing and social media marketing services, BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs, and the Nonfiction Authors Association, a marketing community for authors. She has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and Wired magazine, and she is a contributing blogger for Forbes. For author and speaker details, visit http://StephanieChandler.com. Subscribe to Stephanie Chandler's blog feed here.

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    1. Kevin KnaussNo Gravatar says:

      Agreed, quality over quantity. Most people want info they can use and get turned off or jaded by constant solicitations and non-news e-mails. Some of the carriers send out to many updates that could be consolidated into a weekly digest.

    2. Josh RimerNo Gravatar says:

      Good points. It’s just hard to see someone like John Chow get 5 figures a month by sending promotional emails and not think I should too! Sure would be nice to get that kind of money out of sending some emails.

    3. Leslie TruexNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve vacillated over this issue for many years. I too am sensitive to my list and don’t want to over do it. Yet the “gurus” main drive is list building and marketing. So far my solution has been to email the newsletter once a week and occasionally a special offer (usually of my own product, not an affiliate).

    4. BrandonNo Gravatar says:

      Great take on this. Story Dam has been my first big email list building venture, and I’m extremely proud of the results. While I can see the potential for future sales, I will not be pushing them on my email subscriber like that either.

      The way I see it is that they all have other places they can go. They didn’t have to choose us, but they did. I want them to feel like they are a welcomed part of our community, not a quick (hopeful) sale for someone else.

      I commend you on your values!

    5. JeffNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks for a good post and reminder.

      As new authors promoting our book, The Solution for Marriages, we are always trying to find the right balance between informing our followers and not being a nuisance about it.

    6. Stephanie,
      Thank you for your example. I have also wondered about this. To play devil’s advocate, would you not send a tool or resource to your list if you 1) used it yourself 2) recommended it highly to others (regardless of where they are in your life, i.e. family reunion, business mixer, mailing list, etc.)? If you offer it to your readership in the spirit of making a buck, sure–feel free to feel dirty about it and lose subscribers. However, if you offer a promotion to your readers because you KNOW it can help them achieve their goals, can you do so with a clear conscience if it happens to also be an affiliate link?

      Thoughts?

      Matt
      Marketing Ideas 101

      • The whole point of sharing with my list is to provide useful resources so of course I’m happy to provide a tool. However, I wouldn’t likely send a single email blast out just to announce a tool, but would instead mention it in my next newsletter. It’s part of respecting my list and not sending too many messages. I realize my strategy isn’t for everyone, but it does ensure that I have an incredibly low unsubscribe rate!

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