Richard is a man with a mission. And that mission is to spare other small-business owners some of the hard lessons he's learned over the past five years. Email marketing is a great tool for the small-business owner -- he's not knocking it. But just how effective are third-party lists for an email advertising campaign?
I feel like part of my responsibility in writing this column each week is to be the industry cynic for all small-business owners out there, to use my experience to help you avoid the mistakes I've made over the past five years.
This week I'm cynical about small businesses buying opt-in email list advertising from outfits like PostMasterDirect, YesMail, BulletMail, and the like. These lists are compiled by getting people like you and me to sign up to receive email solicitations on specific subjects. Sometimes you and I sign up by going directly to these providers' sites. Other times, we sign up through affiliate partner sites. (Take note of this. It will be important later.)
So think of the whole shebang like the electronic version of direct mail.
But email marketing comes with its own problems, and no one ever seems to talk about them.
Next week I'm going to talk about affordably managing your own in-house list: how to build it and what to mail to it.
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After five years of telling others about how to spend their marketing budget online, Richard Hoy recently left the employ of this influential publication to see if what he's been blabbing with his big fat mouth all these years really works. He is President and Co-founder of Booklocker.com Inc., an alternative to traditional publishing that helps authors realize profits of up to 70 percent of sales by combining electronic publishing with Internet marketing.
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