Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 reasons against bulk email upload

Ever thought of the following question: I have a list of emails, how do I go about uploading it to my site? It doesn't matter how you got that list: collected naturally on your other site, got it from the vendor, bought it. The answer is simple and clear to all the cases: don't do it and here are the 10 reasons why you should not:

  1. Third-party opt-ins are not real opt-ins , no really, they are not. Subscribing users to anything without their explicit consent leads to spam reports. Put yourself into the subscriber shoes - you have accidentally created a subscription when buying something on a site a couple of years back. You never used that site again, you forgot about it, you never got any correspondence over these years - would you be happy to start getting deal offers every day? Not likely.
  2. Email addresses expire - people move, change jobs, forget the passwords and unable to retrieve them or stop using that email address for some other unknown reasons e.g. no longer like the username. These emails become the "collectors" of spam correspondence and spammers are the only ones, who send anything there, don't think it passes unnoticed for ISPs, so if your rate of "approach" of such "dead-end" addresses is high, you have high chance to be regarded as a spammer.
  3. No targeting, none at all. Do you know which city all of the "subscribers" in the list come from? Well, if you feature a restaurant, do you think that people from another state would really be interested? You sell perfumes online, do you think everyone on that list needs them? Would they hesitate before marking your newsletter as "SPAM"?
  4. The less the better. Inactive subscribers don't help your site, they are only dragging it down. Don't cherish the hope they'll suddenly become interested, they might not unsubscribe or submit a SPAM complaint cause your emails are accumulated in the junk folder, but they are no good for your subscriptions list.
  5. ISP checkups. There's a number of constraints used by ISP to fight SPAM, starting with testing DNS MX mail records and ending with scanning the images (which your daily deal newsletter obviously contains). When you reach out to your subscribers out of the blue having uploaded them from a list, most likely it will be caught by the ISP spam filter and will not reach even the Junk folder. So it's strongly recommended to let the users subscribe naturally and better use double opt-in, asking them to confirm their subscription.
  6. Loyalty. Naturally building a list of subscribers is an art, there're a lot of efforts behind it. Not a single wise merchant would be killing the goose laying golden eggs i.e. selling the list of his loyal subscribers, if some list is for sale, most likely, it wasn't collected in a regular way.
  7. Costs involved are not worthwhile. It costs money to send every newsletter out, why would you be paying for something you are not making money on?
  8. Your domain name=your brand. Are you ready to jeopardize your brand and have to change the domain because of SPAM complaints? The domain name is used in DKIM signature, if the signature gets deprecated, the only way to get it back is to get a new domain name.
  9. Buyers ≠ subscribers, subscribers ≠buyers. Well, not always. Daily deal newsletter is not the only driving force of your site, of course, people, who are interested are likely to subscribe to your newsletter, but also they'd just prefer checking your site once in a while during the day to see if there are any new deals.
  10. Don't keep all eggs in the same basket. The major driving force are the deals you publish, they should be attractive, don't be afraid to feature the same vendor several times, just be sure to change the illustrating image. Don't rely solely on the email marketing, other means of advertising should not be disregarded: ads on Google, Facebook, affiliates, etc. Use any means you can to drive more traffic and it will pay back eventually.

If you haven't changed your mind already, you will later see that uploading email list is a short way to nowhere.

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