Stop collecting email addresses!

Eleven years ago, permission-based email marketing became very popular because consumers were aggravated with unsolicited junk email. In 1999, Seth Godin wrote “Permission Marketing” and outlined the many reasons it is more effective to get permission before marketing to somebody. Then the “gurus” appeared, showing, for a price, how to rapidly collect thousands of emails. Many of us who didn’t have huge mailing lists felt like we were missing something and if we could only get thousands of people on their mailing lists they would be able to make their fortune.

And so it began. These “gurus” were throwing up hastily made whitepapers or a six-week email courses with no real substance, just to give something away and collect those precious email addresses. No one was too concerned with the quality of their offers. I know one business person who, till this day, collects emails and sends a famous quote every day. What does the quote mean? Why is it relevant? Who knows. This marketer just wants to send something. This continues until someone gets frustrated and unsubscribes from the list.

Delivering junk damages your reputation. If you are not sending something of value, something that will make a difference to your audience, then you are sending junk. Even if you do send something of quality, but then bombard your audience with sales messages, you’ve become just another source of trash.

Collecting emails does work if you offer (and then follow through) with giving something of real value. Email courses, white papers, newsletters and e-books can all be incentives to get subscriptions. If you give them something they can truly find useful they will stay signed up and you will be building up their respect for you and your company. If you send something that is self-centered or sales-focused, your audience will leave very quickly. And don’t assume that because someone hasn’t unsubscribed that they are still listening. It is easy for your messages to be filtered to the trash.

Ask yourself where people are getting your information from. Are they subscribed to your blog posts, getting the same blog posts on Buzz, looking at your tweets about your blog posts on Twitter? Repetition can sometimes be good, but if that is all they see, they will start to tune out. This is why we no longer are impacted by traditional commercials, because we have become really good at tuning out the repetition.

Have a schedule and stick to it. Or offer something for a time period and stick to it. When that time period runs out, ask them if they would like the next series you have to offer, and then make them sign up for that list. This way you are not forcing more stuff on them they didn’t ask for. Using modern email software you can create as many lists as you want, so someone on one list can then join another list.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Just creating a blog post can be a strenuous act. One of the most respected bloggers I know writes well informed, interesting posts that never fail to educate me. He says it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 hours to research and write each post. His time is well spent, in my opinion, but can you imagine if he was also doing the same thing with a newsletter, on Buzz, and creating articles to post around the ‘net. He wouldn’t actually have any time to work with clients or make money. If you don’t have the time to really invest in quality, then it is better to make that something you don’t do. You can say no to some marketing techniques. You have to chose the ones that work for you, taking into consideration your time and resources.

Don’t send advertisements to your email list. It’s ok to mention services or products, but in a subtle way. Once I signed up for a list to get an e-book, and then got nothing more from them afterwards except ads.

If you don’t have something to give, remove the email sign up and call it a day. You can either choose not to use this type of marketing, or, you can put it back when you do have the time to create something of great quality.


by Lynda Morris -
Lynda is the owner of Being the Best, a consulting company for small and medium sized businesses interested in developing an Online Marketing strategy, creating a plan for implementation and/or just needing a helping hand to understand benefits/risks.
Being the Best Website
Feel free to contact Lynda at [email protected]

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What the BUZZ?

Last week Google surprised us all with the launch of BUZZ. I went out to dinner with a friend and when I returned, there it was, embedded in my Gmail. One has to give some props to Google for keeping it under wraps during development. Before Apple launched its iPad the rumor mill was working overtime and Apple was denying it daily. With BUZZ, even those who make it their business to know things before they happen were taken by surprise. Give us all a new toy to play with, give us no instructions on how to play with it, and the imaginations run wild. It’s been a crazy week. People are trying to figure out who to connect with, what to share, how to handleВ informationВ over-load and content being duplicated in many different streams.

The other side of the coin is Google got caught by surprise too. Unlike everything else they have launched, they didn’t do the normal beta testing but just did internal testing. The backlash was immediate. Google says that they wanted to give users a robust experience right out of the box, and therefore had Buzz connect with all those you email frequently. Anyone could access the list of who you follow and who follows you. This caused a huge red flag to go up as many worried about privacy issues.

The BBC reported on the concerns of Evgeny Morozov, a Belarus-born researcher and blogger who looks at the political implications of the internet.В ”If I were working for the Iranian or the Chinese government, I would immediately dispatch my internet geek squads to check on Google Buzz accounts for political activists and see if they have any connections that were previously unknown to the government,” he wrote

My first concern was that this was a opt-out service instead of an opt-in one. Of course we know why Google did this. It was great that they could say “24 hours later and we have XX million users.” I’ve never seen a opt-out system work out well for anyone. And it isn’t Google’s normal practice, usually they put things in the Labs and then let you chose to activate them or not. With BUZZ, there was a tiny little link at the bottom of your Gmail page letting you disconnect from it. This was pretty hard to find.

All that being said, Google is a company that has built its reputation on listening to its users. So it has set up a war room to look at what people are saying and deal with the issues. The privacy issues were dealt with within a day. You now have the option to share, or not share, your followers (If in BUZZ, click on the link to your followers and at the bottom of the pop-up you will find a check box to share or not share your followers). You have the option to share, or not share your otherВ applicationsВ such as Google Reader (Up near your picture you will see a link for “connected sites” and here you can chose what to share.) I predict you will see many changes in BUZZ over the next few weeks as Google listens and responds to what the users are saying.

The biggest question that remains, what to do with this Google BUZZ. Is it a Twitter or Facebook killer as some suggest? Is it something in addition to all the other social media we are using? Is it another place to post our content, or is it about developing relationships and having meaningful conversations? As of now, no one can answer that questions, and that’s about as exciting as it gets. If you are an early adapter, you will just love being involved in something that is developing fast and changing daily. If you aren’t, then holding back and waiting till it sorts itself out is a good idea because you just might get dizzy watching the changes that happen moment by moment.

BUZZ isВ definitely something else, so you can be sure I’ll be talking more about it in future posts.

If you need more help:

Thanks to Tom Snell for sharing this resource with us – http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2010/02/13/complete-guide-google-buzz/

And you can also find information at-В http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2010/02/google-buzz-tips.html


by Lynda Morris -
Lynda is the owner of Being the Best, a consulting company for small and medium sized businesses interested in developing an Online Marketing strategy, creating a plan for implementation and/or just needing a helping hand to understand benefits/risks.
Being the Best Website
Feel free to contact Lynda at [email protected]

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