The importance of building a strong relationship with a targeted group of customers through e-mail newsletters cannot be overestimated. This applies whether you’re an affiliate, or have your own product to sell.
You’ve heard how Mark has been able to make $250,000 in just 4 days through e-mail and how a single mailing can often pull in $10,000. Other top marketers have claimed to have earned over $1million from one single email!
The largest companies in the world also understand the power of an e-mail, 39.4% of Fortune 500 companies say e-mail is their strongest marketing channel.
You should be using e-mail too
Including e-mail in your marketing strategy, at the very least, can double your affiliate income. Probably more. Of course, you know this already.
We have some great advice and training on email marketing here, and within our AffiloJetpack and AffiloBlueprint products.
OK…. You’ve built your list. You’ve sent your e-mails out. Now you can sit back and enjoy the cash that’s coming your way, right? Almost.
But it’s not quite that simple. First you have to make sure that your e-mail is really making it to its intended destination.
Double opt-in is pretty much a given these days and is required under law in most places. But this alone is not enough to make sure your mail is delivered.
To get the best results, you’ll have to go a step further..
You see, even if you’re subscriber has confirmed, there’s still a good chance that your mail can be stopped by the ever vigilant spam filters of the ISPs.
Just look at these stats.
One in every five e-mails is not making it to the inbox!
One in five!
No matter what conversion rate you’re working with, if you’re only getting your message out to 80% of the people who you’re sending it to, there is a whole lot of room for improvement.
Your messages could get bounced for a number of reasons, all reducing the effectiveness of your newsletter. And if your initial confirm message doesn’t get through, you’ve wasted a golden opportunity to create a long term, profitable, relationship.
So what do you do?
Well, you may have noticed that when you sign up to an email newsletter (and if you’re thinking of setting up your own newsletter you should be signing up to a lot of them as research) sometimes they’ll ask you to ‘Whitelist’ them.
Basically this is putting their email address into your contacts or address book. If you do this your ISP is a lot less likely to send their mail to spam or bounce the message completely.
The problem is, given the number of different e-mail programs out there, getting people to whitelist you can be a pretty involved process.
Some sites list instructions for around 11 different e-mail options and 20 separate spam filters. This is a lot of writing. Not to mention that no-matter what e-mail they use, you're having to ask them to manually go to their e-mail client and add your address.
It’s quite a lot to ask, especially if they don’t fully understand why they're having to do it.
As with anything, the harder it is to do, the less people are going to do it… and the less people are going to be receiving your e-mails.
Make it easy
As someone interested in building up a list, one where you can actually get your message into the inbox, you’ll want to know how you can make it easier for people to Whitelist you.
The guys over at WhitelistNow have come up with a solution, it’s just been released and is still in the early stages at the moment, but I’ve had a good look and can give you a bit of a lowdown on what it can do for you.
What it is, is a simple plug-in that gives the person signing up all the instructions they need to whitelist your address for whatever e-mail service they’re using (currently 8 different options).
If the sign-up is using Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, or Hotmail, they never even have to leave your page to do this, they can whitelist you using the Wizard.
Here's the default screen users are greeted with…
To see how you can set this up for yourself you can go over to the WhitelistNow website and see the range of tutorials in the support section.
I've got to say, this is a handy little device. It looks professional and is easy to use. It’ll save you from writing a great big rolling page of text instructions and keeps your visitors on your site while whitelisting.
I tested the wizard out on Yahoo! Gmail, and Hotmail.
While I could see that my e-mail got added to the contacts/safe lists for Yahoo! and Gmail, I couldn’t see evidence that it worked with Hotmail. Whether this is a bug to be fixed yet I’m not sure. Here’s what it looks like just before a user adds you to their contacts…
For the other e-mail services, it’s as easy as selecting your provider and then being shown a quick little video or audio presentation of how to whitelist. The instructions are also in text written in an easy step-by-step form.
All in all this tool can really help you to get your mail whitelisted and delivered, helping you make the maximum return from your list.
So it’s pretty cool.
However, what I don’t like so much is the subscription pricing set up.
For a tool like this I expected a one time fee or similar. Right now it’s advertised at $97 for a year long subscription($8.08 per month). Not bad I suppose, if it helps you make a substantial increase in your list-based income.
The good thing about it being subscription-based is that the latest updates and features will always be in use on your site.
You manage everything from you whitelist account and don’t have to mess with the HTML. The flat rate subscription also covers use for an unlimited number of your sites and email addresses, so you’re not going to have to worry about an increasing bill as your business grows. So…
If you’re at the stage where you have one or more newsletters set up and are making enough to cover the subscription price I’d highly recommend checking out WhitelistNow. It really will make your life so much easier.
What are the alternatives? Giving up on 20% of your mail that’s not reaching the inbox? Writing out pages of detailed instructions for each different newsletter you run, and having to update every time a change happens with one of the more than half-a dozen common e-mail providers?
Or you could use WhitelistNow and have something that is both easier for a subscriber to use, and easier for you to set up.
So who's it for?
If you’re making some money from your sites already, check out WhitelistNow and if you’re not, don’t worry about it just yet, just bookmark it for later.
Note: They also run a 60 day money back guarantee, so you don’t run any risk just by trying them out.
Also keep in mind subscription may be going up to around $215 per year in the near very near future. But if you get in now, you’ll get it for $97/yr ($8.08/month) for life.