email marketing mistakesI’ve been marketing online for quite a few years now and have built up a nice e-mail list (about 30,000 subscribers). The lists have been developed over time from a variety of sources.

Some are subscribed to me because they are on my team, others are leads that I’ve generated through various traffic sources like Bing, Solo Ads, etc. Some are on my Shannon Lavenia or newsletter lists. Some have inquired about working with myself and Tim Sales or with John and Empower Network.

If you are developing a list or have one, and intend to use email marketing to grow your business, this post will be of great value to you so that you don’t repeat the stupid rookie mistake I just made.

Rule #1 in Email Marketing: Respect Your List

The Golden Rule of good email marketing is to respect the members of your list. Respect the reasons that these folks have opted-in and provide them with real value. Communicate in an effective and powerful way. Engage your list members in a conversation.

Email marketing is a valuable tool in any business. I just recently opted-in to the list at Bill White restaurants. Since I opted in to that list, I would expect to get emails about special deals at their restaurants. Their use of email marketing should be to entice me to come to the restaurant – perhaps sharing menus, coupons, etc.

By providing real value to your list, you will 1) keep them on your list and 2) increase the chances that your leads will become buyers.

By respect, I mean choose your offers carefully and don’t hammer them with junk offers. When you write an email be sure you are delivering what the people have asked for. Your goals with email marketing should be to give your list members value that is over the top.

If they are asking for marketing tips, give them that. If they are asking for more information about your home business, give them that.

Rookie Mistake: Sending bad offers

I have to say, I am good to my list. I give a lot of content, a lot of value and a lot of great information.

As a former teacher, I have a knack for learning and teaching very effectively and when I learn something new, I like to teach it to anyone who wants to learn.

As an internet marketer, I also like to earn income and to monetize my list. That means, making offers that can produce income. Generally, I am very cautious about what I offer to my list. I don’t hammer them with deal after deal, but rather will often offer tools and systems that I personally benefit from.

This week I made a rookie mistake.

I sent out an offer that I was getting repeatedly that looked like an ideal fit for my lead list. However, I didn’t take a good look under the covers before sending it out and I got a bit of backlash from my list members.

That’s the worst…when your list members send you “WTF?” responses…

The product may be good (I actually did buy it…it was only $9.00), but I didn’t watch the entire offer. After I got a few backlash emails, I stopped and watched it and have to admit it is the most gimmicky BS video I’ve seen in a long time.

Ooops! Not a video I would have normally sent. Not an offer I would have normally put out to my list.

Some feedback I got was “really….

I don’t understand why you sent that piece of crap…”

“Were you hacked? I just got an email from you that’s not your normal email”

Perhaps it was recovering from the flu…perhaps the lack of sleep from my daughter being sick…

Perhaps just a momentary lapse in judgement.

Either way, it’s a great lesson for me to learn and to pass on to you.

Be sure to thoroughly investigate any offers you send to your list.

When you send out email content that isn’t your usual value added messages, your list (as mine was) can end up confused or even pissed off. You’ll increase your opt-outs and potentially lose some future customers.

So, be weary of what you send to your list and be sure you are delivering great value. It’s absolutely okay to send affiliate offers you are going to profit from. I often send offers for products I use and benefit from like Optimize Press or FlexSqueeze and my list appreciates the referral of these great tools.

But, be leery of sending email about money games or other junk.

The more you value your list, the more you deliver great content and the more you respect the reasons the person has opted in to your list, the more value you’ll get from your list in return.

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Shannon Lavenia

A former Biology teacher, Shannon started in home business in 2002 and quickly rose to the top of her field. Her and her husband, John Lavenia, grabbed the #1 spot in their company for 7 years, achieving million-dollar results. Shannon is recognized as an industry leader and trainer, specializing in helping new home business entrepreneurs expand their business and achieve their goals. She lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, daughter and dog Lucy.
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