Quickly and Inexpensively Build a List With Safelists

by Steven Weisenburger

"The money is in the list."

In one of my online coaching sessions I was telling my students about a webinar I had attended. The presentation was conducted by mega success Agora Publishing. In just 7 years they’ve mushroomed into a $400+ million dollar a year Internet marketing giant. So, I guess you can say it's Christmas everyday for them!

In that webinar they revealed the seeds to their miraculous success. One seed was building a database of opt-in subscribers to their free Early-to-Rise newsletter.

They started out very small database of their own and built it up to 20,000+ names and it took off from there. And now they have hundreds of thousands of email address they send to on a daily basis -- and what's really amazing is that their subscribers, like little kids anticipating Santa, they can hardly wait until tomorrow to get the next one.

Well, with visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads like sugarplums, several of the students eagerly asked me, “How do you quickly build up your own database/subscriber list to market to?”

There are many ways of building your own database/subscriber list, however, I’m going to show you ONE technique in this article. I selected it because one marketer I know of used this method to take his subscriber base of 2,000 to over 60,000 names in just 6 weeks.

How did he accomplish such a feat? Safelists.

A Safelist is a form of e-mail marketing and advertising where the members have agreed to receive each other’s messages. Types of safelists include paid, credit based, and free. Thus, as everyone has opted -in, it is “safe” to send promotional material to each other.

Anyone can join and market their products and service with email advertising -- there is no “good old boys” network you have to be connected with to get in the door.

Some Safelists are free to advertise to and others require a fee. But the fee is a pint-sized fraction of what companies charge to mail to traditional rented opt-in e-lists -- which can run $200 to $400 per thousand.

What works in promotions targeted to Safelists?

If your marketing mindset is wrapped around “lead generation” then smartlists are going to work best for you. Free offers tend to pull well in Safelists.

So by offering a free report or some other "gift" in your marketing promotion, you establish credibility with the Safelist subscribers and encourage them to investigate the source of the ad -- which is you of course -- not Santa!

Some Safelists permit only text ads; others allow either text or HTML. Some experts claim HTML ads pull better on Safelists. As always, I default to the tried and true marketing principle of testing all your marketing efforts -- its the only way to know for certain.

Where does one finds Safelists?

When you google it, you'll find 444,000 results. But let me save you a little time.

There are several online directories that contain Safelist listings, including www.mailpro-network.com, www.megasubmitters.com, which require a small fee to join, plus FREE list sites such as www.101-websitetraffic.com and www.businessworldlist.com .

Quantity vs Quality

Like anything else, there are pro’s and cons to Safelists.

The Pros are:
  • you can generate a large list rather quickly and at a very low cost.
  • no fear of being penalized for spamming
  • you know the results of your ad immediately – a great way to test and tweak for success
  • email to thousands – for free or small amount – even a 1% -2% response can be profitable

The Çon is:
  • the unsubscribe rate for Safelist-aquired names is going to be many times higher than people who subscribe to your free report or ezine because they a.) either know you b.) signed up from an article submission c.) found you via a search engine search or d.) came to your internet site -- www.yoursite.com.
5 SafeList Marketing Tips

  1. Select a targeted list – if you are targeting Internet Marketers, then don’t subscribe to lists that are contain pet owners. The more niched the list, the higher response rate you’re going to get.

  2. Use a benefit-laden headline in your ad – you’ve got to reach out and grab the reader by the throat in the first 3 seconds or they vanish into thin air.

  3. Use a follow-up strategy – direct customers from your ad to your website or use a sequential autoresponder. It often takes up to 6 -7 times for users to see your ad before they respond to your offer. A newbie Internet marketer will cease their marketing efforts after one attempt – huge mistake. Follow up every few days with a variation of your offer. This will dramatically increase your chances of making the sale.

  4. Tracking and Testing – the number one marketing mistake you can make is the failure to test and track. Test multiple ads and track the response rate -- one will most assuredly out pull the rest. You can then test which headline pulls the best. After a one-month subscription, you will have some idea if the safelist is worth staying with -- if not, unsubscribe!

    If you are getting a good response from the free lists, then pay the monthly subscription fee, so you can send your ad more often. You will also benefit from all the features they provide.

  5. Use several safe lists – subscribe as a free member to several paid lists. Test which safelist gives you the best resonse. As you can imagine, paid safelists are of higher quality than the ones that are free.
There you go, another marketing quick fix -- a place to start to build that list. Don't forget... just like Santa, who is making a list and checking it twice... so should you! It's true, the money is in the list.
pulls the best response. As you


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