|Viral Marketing through referrals|
I am trying to get a free e-newsletter off the ground for promotion and I need to build my database as quickly as possible. So I have a few questions for those of you who have done this.
1. What techniques or methods have you used to build up a database of subscribers quickly starting from scratch?
2. What do you think about the idea of sending your initial newsletter to everyone you have in your database, even if they did not sign up, but offer them a clear unsubscribe link and remove those who request it?
Last I am always signing up for newsletter to see how others have done it. Here is the link to the Thank you page for a newsletter I signed up for. What intrigues me about this particular thank you page is that they ask you right away for referrals. My question is a technical one.
How do you set this forrm up so it emails to the person they put in friend's email field while still sending a copy to you? <snip>
[edited by: stuntdubl at 12:57 pm (utc) on July 11, 2005]
[edit reason] no urls please per TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
|What do you think about the idea of sending your initial newsletter to everyone you have in your database, even if they did not sign up, but offer them a clear unsubscribe link and remove those who request it? |
Bad idea - you will end up in a spam blacklist and then you won't be able to get your newsletter to people who are willing to receive it!
(Some people will immediately list as spam anything they didn't specifically ask for, and a bunch they did!)
if you have the database which is collected by the visitors who came to your site and provide you with some email ID then you can use the for emails in my opinion but have an option for unsubscrbing always at the bottom. SO that a visitor should not be annoyed by that mail and unsubscribe if he is not interested and should keep on coming to your site.
All the emails that I have are people that I have personally met and probably gotten a business card from. A few (like 4) are people who have received one of my free reports on my web site and therefore gave me their contact info, which I think I can probabaly use since I asked for it and they gave it.
I noticed one of the managers deleted my URL, which I don't know why as it is just a link to content that I wanted people to see, which supposedly is ok to do. Oh well, in any case I will explain what I want to do.
On my thank you page I would like to create a form that has a place for them to put their own email and one or more referral email addresses along with a text block with a pre-written message that they can change. Technically I don't know how you create a form that emails the message to the person they gave the email address for and also sends a copy to me. Does anyone know how to do this?
Normally I use a PHP script that a friend wrote for me that processes a form and sends the results to me, but I didn't know if anyone else had other suggestions.
I'd be cautious about automatically subscribing people that you've gotten a business card from. I've had that done to me and I don't like it.
As a modified approach I think I will send out a blanket email to my database that says in a few weeks I will starting my monthly newsletter and I thought they might like to receive it. I will tell them if they don't wish to start receiving it to click the unsubscribe link otherwise I will assume they want to start receiving it when it is published. What do you guys think about this approach?
Also does anyone have info about my form question that I posted above. I really want to find a script that can handle this. Thanks.
|I will tell them if they don't wish to start receiving it to click the unsubscribe link otherwise I will assume they want to start receiving it when it is published. What do you guys think about this approach? |
I think it's a bad idea, for two reasons:
1) If I received this as a user, I'd see it as spam. This will annoy your users - so they might blacklist you (so you can't email them in the future) or decide not to buy from you in the future.
2) According to the definitions used by the anti-spam people, this would be spam. For example, here's spamhaus's definition:
|The word "Spam" as applied to Email means Unsolicited Bulk Email ("UBE"). |
Unsolicited means that the Recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content.
A message is Spam only if it is both Unsolicited and Bulk.
- Unsolicited Email is normal email
(examples: first contact enquiries, job enquiries, sales enquiries)
- Bulk Email is normal email
(examples: subscriber newsletters, customer communications, discussion lists)
Technical Definition of Spam
An electronic message is "spam" IF:
(1) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients;
(2) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.
So there's a fair chance that you'll get your mailserver blacklisted.
There also may be legal issues under CANSPAM, if you're in the States.
Best wishes, and HTH, a.
Ok, maybe I am asking this question the wrong way. If you had a pile of business cards collected at trade shows and various events as well as a database of contacts from various sources what would you do to reach out to this group to see if they wanted to receive your newsletter when you start it?
It seems that some people will view ANY attempt to reach out to them via email as SPAM. So let me reverse the question. How would you do it if you were in my place?
|There also may be legal issues under CANSPAM, if you're in the States. |
Yes, and those issues are a a valid header, a valid from/reply address, no deceptive subjects, identify as an advertisement, not using harvesting scripts, etc. and a valid opt-out mechanism.
As long as you adhere to all that you're perfectly within your rights under the can-spam act and the anti-spam freaks that blacklist someone following the letter of the law could find themselves in a wee bit of a jam.
Can I assume by your post that if I followed all those rules for CAN-SPAM and even went above and beyond by asking people in the first message if they wanted to be part of my newsletter that this would be a good way to go?
My new thoughts on the matter are to send the first newsletter out to everyone (with CAN-SPAM rules in place) and ask people who think that this newsletter was valuable to them to come and "opt-in" to get future issues. Basically tell them that if they don't opt-in this will be the first and only issue they get. However my concern with that strategy is that the response would be low because some people will read it, but simply won't go opt-in and that doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to get it, sometimes it means they don't have time or they forget or any number of other reasons.
Also any thoughts from anyone about the script I am looking for from my first post?
Maybe this can help also.
I'm from Portugal, but I work for a company that distributes/represents international software (CAD, EDM/FM, MCAD) companies from USA, UK, NL, FR, and so on, here in Portugal. I receive distributor newsletters from them all, but I also sign the users newsletters, so I can see what they are sending to them.
In the newsletters that I receive from USA companies, we can see at the end of the email newsletter, the following paragraphs:
To locate helpful CompanyName Sales & Marketing Tools, visit the CompanyName Extranet: www.CompanyName.com/extranet.
As always we welcome your questions and comments, please forward them to ContactName (USA) at 9-999-999-999 X999 or to ContactName (Europe/Asia/Pacific) at + 99-99-999-9999. Let us know if you need assistance with login information for the CompanyName Extranet.
This message complies with the Can-Spam Act of 2003 and respects the privacy of its readers. To unsubscribe, [Click here] or if the email address is not clickable, simply copy the text to the right of the 'mailto:' command and paste it into your email application and hit send. You will be taken off the list immediately. Thank you!
This email is sent by:
(CompanyName) ¦ (Address) ¦ Atlanta, GA 99999-9999 ¦ (PhoneNumber)
Here in Europe, we are going in a totally opposite direction than USA regarding spam. Everything not opt-in is spam (final dot).
But for what i read, UK is maybe approaching the USA ideas (see 3rd link)!
I also found some interesting articles, if you can see: (moderators, it's not spam ;-)
Nice work Psazf,
Fortune Hunter, if you have met these people or corresponded with them, I think it makes a big difference. I delete, unread, anything that does not contain : a person I recognize in the "from", or is not to a real, active address of mine, or has as subject something unrecognisable to me. I would not think it spam if I know you and the message was personally addressed, preferably with a short personal intro from you.
On opening, I would feel positive about an invitation to view "the first copy of our new newslatter for your consideration" (which would contain a subscription link). I would not like to be auto-subscribed in advance.
Thanks for the advice from both of you, now I have a technical question to throw out. I am looking for two things for my newsletter.
1. A script for a form that after someone registers and is taken to my thank you page that they can submit a friend's email into a form with a pre-written note that they can change and forward to their friend asking them to subscribe i.e. to evoke viral marketing.
2. The code I need to add to the bottom of my newsletter that allows them to forward a copy of the newsletter to 3 of their contacts. This would be similar to the emails they did during the Presidential race where the emails you received allowed you to forward it directly to 5 of your family or friends by inserting their email address and clicking send.
If either of you know where I can find code or scripts that will help me accomplish either of these I would appreciate it. Thanks.
|Can I assume by your post that if I followed all those rules for CAN-SPAM and even went above and beyond by asking people in the first message if they wanted to be part of my newsletter that this would be a good way to go? |
If the person you are sending the email to has had personal contact with you for lead generation, opt-ed into your mail list or purchased from your site you're usually in good shape as long as you identify yourself clearly and give opt-out instructions that work.
However, that won't stop a few people from going off the deep end and doing stupid things like reporting you anyway. My site is 100% opt-in for EVERYTHING and I send out a few newsletters a year and invariably some nutjob goes ape and sends an abuse email to everyone.
They look like a horses arse when I email back their submission information (including name, location, URL, etc.) and the snippet about periodic newsletter being sent as part of the membership agreement on the page with the checkbox "I READ AND AGREE TO THESE TERMS".
Nut job is the right language. Thanks for your insight, I will make sure to have the same opt-in agreement on my site.
I don't see how name-calling helps.
If you annoy potential customers, they won't buy from you - you can call them whatever names you like...
I think you are missing the point of the conversation here. We aren't trying to insult anyone we are simply saying the if you opt-in then don't go nuts when you get an email from a site you gave permission to. Acting otherwise makes them the kind of customer I really don't want, even if they do have money because the headaches they cause aren't worth it.
|1. A script for a form that after someone registers and is taken to my thank you page that they can submit a friend's email into a form with a pre-written note that they can change and forward to their friend asking them to subscribe i.e. to evoke viral marketing. |
I use a script like this on my website. I'm a new poster here so I don't know if I am allowed to give you the name of the place where I bought the script? Or if you email me I'll send it to you?