1. As boreing as this sounds, list building is the eternal challange for me. It is another word for "prospecting." People have come to me asking where they can buy a list of prospective customers. That's a great technique if it were the 1980s and we were doing direct mail. But, of course it doesn't work for email. The initial contact via email is a very tricky one.
Pushing the "forward to a friend" is only useful if you have someone from whom to forward.
I have some suggestions and ideas on the subject, but it doesn't involve "cyber-space." It involves getting out of your chair and actually meeting someone.
2. I've seen people try some things that are questionable and sensitive at best, that could land you in a lot of trouble at worse... "Doing damage control after a major email marketing mistake" is also a good topic. "How to get off a 'black list' with a major ISP" would be informative. "How to continue using Constant Contact after they have moved all your contacts into the "Do Not Send" list because of too many SPAM complaints," would be another good topic.
Thanks for the ides Ray! We are looking at new ideas to share and people to feature - both internal and external people of interest! Please keep the ideas coming as we work to address issues of importance to all community members!
We will think of new ways to highlight list building and, of course, continue to help people avoid some of the pitfalls associated with not collecting emails in the best way.
Curious if you know anyone that might be a good fit for the "damage control" topic? It's a bit difficult to admit your mistakes, but I find I leave some of the best lessons from them (just don't tell my mother she was right!).
Thanks for your response. Damage control is a most interesting topic because it has two aspects:
1. Once I accidentally uploaded a list from a client with the assumption that they have been sending email to the list, only to find out that they didn't remove all the "unsubscribes" or SPAM complainers, I was doomed. Constant Contact's answer was to remove the whole list. That effectively destroyed my relationship and Constant Contact's relationship with my client. I was never able to "undo" the harm. A class about what to do with an "iffy" subscriber list, or a new client with an untested list would be great. If I had thought to ask them to send the list of only "active" subscribers, or include the "status" I might have been able to help them convert to Constant Contact. That oversight was a killer.
Against my original advise, I've had clients come to me who had paid $300 for 3,000,000 emails from some other company, and I have coached them on the layout and copy that they might use with such a list. It normally included a short description of who they were, what they were going to do with their email, an invitation for the "subscriber' to really subscribe to their list, and a promise not to bother them again. People have not always followed my advise. I've never seen anyone actually buy a list that worked.
2. The other aspect is when a client becomes "black listed" by AOL or one of the other major ISPs. I had a client who, in addition to using a Email Service Provider (in this case not Constant Contact), would also send a large number of emails from their own computer. It was a large company with a number of divisions and each manager would send their own version of broadcast email from Outlook. They received a call one day that someone had not heard from them in awhile. Then they tried to test sending to AOL users, and found that they had been blocked.
They asked me to help them. I went through all the AOL web pages until I could find a phone number, made a frustrating call, and found the procedure for getting off their black list. It took me a couple days to find the information, pass it on to them, and have them respond with a reply to AOL. It took another two weeks before their email started to be delivered to their AOL users. A class about that would be great.
Does this help?