Guerrillas Need An Optin List by John Botscharow
The most important marketing weapon any business needs is their own opt in mailing list. Why?
To answer that, first we must define what opt in means. An opt in list as I use term is a list of people and their addresses (can be either snail mail and/or e-mail addresses) that you built yourself. These are contacts who have come to your web site and have requested information from you. Or they have responded to an ad you placed either on line or off line. The particular way they contacted you is not really important for this article but fact that they requested your information is. They have given you consent to send them information.
Why is it important that they have requested that information? The answer is NOT what most of you are probably thinking right now. I'm not talking about Spam here. The importance lies in subscriber's receptivity. If I request information I will be much more inclined, first, to read it and, secondly, to follow through with it.
A side bar here! The fact that some government agency or your ISP disapproves of my marketing tactics is not relevant. What is important is that, sending mail to someone who did not request it, that is, someone who did not show any interest in your information, is counter-productive for YOU and a waste of YOUR time, YOUR effort and YOUR money. -----------------------------------------------------------------
I want to stress word "information" here. Your subscribers did not request to be bombarded with nothing but blatant advertising. If you use your list to send ONLY advertising, your list will disappear very quickly. Most people get enough pure advertising via their mail (and for this article "mail" includes both snail mail and e-mail) to last them a lifetime. They really are not asking for more.
What you need to provide for your list is important, valuable, and relevant content. The criteria you must use to determine if this content is valuable or important or relevant is not whether YOU think it is, but whether your subscribers think so.
How do you determine what your subscribers think is important or valuable or relevant?
First of all, demographics of your list will give you some general ideas. When you set up your list, you must define a "target market" Who do you want on your list? Not specific names, but you need to pick some specific characteristics) you want all your subscribers to have in common. Perhaps, they should all be dog owners or hot rod fanciers or people who raise bees.
This target market is defined first of all by what area of expertise you intend to specialize in. Are you going to be an expert in martial arts or marital relationships? Once you have defined your area of expertise, then you ask yourself, "Who will be interested in this information?" Try to narrow this group down as much as possible. But do not overdo it or you will have such a narrow target market that your list will never grow to a sufficient size to be profitable.