Make Safelists Work For You [Part 2]
Safelists Ads As Lead Generators
The key to a successful online marketing campaign is email advertising, which should all be aimed at generating targeted mailing lists. The more lists you have, and the more diversity among your lists, the greater your marketing potential. The best use of all safelists is not to actually sell your product or goods, but to generate leads. Include a link to your website in your safelist ad, and be sure the ad is enticing enough to make the recipient want to click on your link. Your link should lead to an opt-in form on your website, which is then linked to an autoresponder. The autoresponder should be set up to generate more information about your product or services that you are attempting to sell. Make sure the information supplied by the autoresponder focuses on the benefits of your product or service.
Figure out what problems your product solves, and use that information as your selling leverage. The goal is to get your leads to join your opt-in list. To entice the prospect further, throw in a few freebies if they join. Your bonus is any number of things, usually found on your hard drives (check licenses!). Once you get people to join your mailing list, your goal is to repeatedly contact them with more and more information about your product or your series of products, and eventually, they will either make a purchase or opt out of the autoresponder. Remember, the ad should be directed at making the recipient curious enough to click on your URL link with the intention of getting them to opt-in to your mailing list. Once they opt-in to your mailing list, you want to keep giving them incentives to stay with you. More bonus offers and the promise of more information about products and/or services is highly effective.
For example, offer them a free ebook along with the right to reproduce it or with resale rights. In addition, include more links inside this ebook to other products and services on your website. This is a very effective way to keep building up your mailing list, since every person who is then given or sold this ebook will be able to click on a link that takes them to your website and opt-in list. Once you have built up opt-in mailing lists, you must learn how to effectively use them in order to change those potential leads into actual customers. The best way to make this happen is to offer them some kind of knowledge that is useful to them and contains quality information. Once you give your prospects something they can actually use, the possibility of them returning the favor and purchasing your product and service grows.
Another important factor is your contact consistency. Make sure you maintain continual contact with the members on your opt-in list. Keep sending them valuable offers with links to your website. The more aggressive you are, the greater your possible sales. Make every offer work for you as a sales tool. For example, when you send out a free article, include an offer for the second part available through an auto responder. Keep giving your prospects quality information and bonus offers that lead them back to your website over and over and you will garner loyal customers who generate steady, long-term profits.
There are literally thousands of safelists to choose from. How do you know which ones to join? If you follow a few guidelines, you will be able to whittle down the overwhelming numbers into likely prospects. The first thing you should do is go online and enter "free to join safelists" in a search engine (try not to freak when the results appear). Go to some of these websites and evaluate them. There are some immediate warning signs that indicate poor quality.
- Unprofessional site design
- Poor functionality at site
- Tons of banners and advertisements
- Tons of cheesy animated gifs, such as dollar signs, bills, stacks of coins, etc.
- Lack of an affiliate program
- Lack of a support link
- Lack of any contact information
- Lack of information about the safelist
- Lack of information about the list members
Positive signs that the safelist is responsive and worth joining:
- Professional site design
- Accessible and visible support information
- Accessible and visible contact information
- Multiple membership options
- An affiliate program with a visible link
- Information about the membership benefits
- The number of members that belong to the safelist
The next factor you should look into is what database is used and which script powers the safelist. You need a safelist with reliable web hosting that can handle tons of traffic. Avoid safelists powered by CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts, as they tend to be unreliable. A dedicated server is always a good sign, as are MySQL-powered scripts, which are more stable and more commonly found employed on high-traffic sites. MySQL is a relational database management system, which stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. Member's information is stored in MYSQL database in separate records instead of putting them all together. This adds significant speed to the website.
Other factors to look for include:
- Full control of an Administrative area
- A safelist that you can customize from the Administrative Control Panel
- A page where the members are listed
- An affiliates' page that lists the members' names
- Link tracking
- Ads status Page - Shows what has been sent and what has not been sent
- An easily accessible user's guide
- Data backup and Data restore
How do you subscribe? If you are subscribing to non-web based safelists, first you must do your research and find lists that you think will work for you. The main non web-based safelists are Yahoo Groups and Topica. To join lists from these host companies, you either send a specific subscribe email to the list moderator or you can subscribe directly through the website. If the list is unmoderated, just enter your email address into the group mailing software, and then you can send your ad. Yahoo Groups, which is currently the largest free non-web based safelist server, has installed a digest feature. A digest is one large email that contains all the emails sent to you in any specific week, which decreases the amount of messages that members of the list receive.
However, the response rate for this type of feature is usually fairly low. To join a web-based safelist, first log onto their website, and follow the instructions to join. Usually, you must fill out sign-up forms. Decide whether you want to try a Free subscription first to test your ads, or go directly to a Pro membership. Once you sign-up, you can send your email directly from their server. Most lists will send you a confirmation email that requires you to either reply or go to a link and validate your address and confirm your intention to sign up. This allows the lists to be "opt-in," meaning that everyone has chosen to receive mail from the list and your email will never be considered spam.
Group-based safelists work by allowing you to send your emails through a special email address, which then distributes your email to all the members of the group. Again, each of these members have opted-in to the safelist, so your emails will never be accused of being spam. The hardest element of joining a safelist is figuring out which ones are reliable, and which ones will be right for your product or service. It is definitely worth it to put your time in on research before joining any, or you will be overwhelmed with irrelevant emails and find little response to your own advertisements.
You can literally spend weeks trying to find the right safelists for your needs. There are thousands and thousands of safelists available, and you can make a career out of figuring out which ones are most effective for your product or service. Or you can buy a safelist directory. This is a compiled resource that has done the research for you, containing both the sign-up and the login URL, the number of members in each safelist, and the type of membership subscriptions available. Buying a good safelist directory will save you an enormous amount of time and effort.
The following are just a few recommended resources to browse;