One Million Opt-Ins?

Dear E-mail Diva,

We recently used an email marketing company that said they would send out over a million emails to opted-in customers for $160. We used Google Analytics to track the emails and found out this company was a complete fraud. The company was reporting hundreds of clicks on our Web site, but Google Analytics was telling us a different story. Our business is going to be based off natural skincare, and we would like to target women that are between the ages of 25-40 that are opted in. We don't want our emails showing up as spam. We are recent college grads on a limited budget. Are there any companies or ideas you would suggest using?

Jimmy Moore

Dear Jimmy,


It is so tempting to believe you can get something for nothing, isn't it? But come on, a million "opted in customers" for $160! What do you suppose these million people opted in for? When did you or anyone you know or anyone you have ever heard of intentionally opt in for whatever email a company would like to send you?

Remember this: you can't buy permission. The recipient of your email from a purchased list has not given you permission to send them email. They may have skipped the fine print when trying to get that free iPod, but no one asks for commercial email from all comers. You may ask rental list recipients to opt in to receive messages from you. But of course you have to give them a good reason to do so. If you can, and they do, you may actually generate some sales from the interaction.

You are in the awareness generation phase of your product launch. Unsolicited email from a company no one has heard of may not be your best bet. First build your site, invest in search and banners ads, consider social media and word of mouth; then try email.

You were smart to do your own verification of this lead generation company with Google Analytics. Another important tactic is to maintain a source code for prospects culled from third-party lists or co-registration campaigns. Track their behavior through subsequent communications and you may find that leads from source X have high opt-out and spam complaint rates and are wholly unresponsive. By maintaining the source code, you can get the entire group of bad seeds off your list at once. You can also identify the vendors that give you quality prospects.

There are good acquisition vendors out there, such as Q Interactive, YesMail, Datran Media and Precision Prospects, among others. They won't give you something for nothing, but they may give you good advice and qualified prospects for your budding business.

Good Luck!

The Email Diva


Send your questions or submit your email for critique to Melinda Krueger, the Email Diva, at mbkrueger@gmail.com. All submissions may be published; please indicate if you would like your name or company name withheld.


Send your questions or submit your email for critique to Melinda Krueger, the Email Diva, at mbkrueger@gmail.com. All submissions may be published; please indicate if you would like your name or company name withheld.

Tags: email
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