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USING SAFELISTS
by: Cary Christian

You may be wondering whether safelists are worth using anymore.  We had almost come to the conclusion that they weren't. Our initial testing showed that they were almost totally a waste of time and worth less than FFA leads. If you think about the makeup of a safelist this makes sense.

* The only people who join are those seeking to advertise their own programs. It stands to reason that they will be less likely to be interested in yours.

* The group you are mailing to changes only when new members are added. Therefore, you are mailing to the same people every time you mail.

We were ready to issue our conclusions when something unexpected happened. We started getting excellent response from a new group of safelists we had joined for evaluation. We dug into the details to find out what happened.

A NEW TYPE OF SAFELIST

Previously, we had joined a large group of safelists as free members and rotated our normal ads through on a daily basis. As a free member, we could generally post only once per week so we had to join enough lists to be able to mail to four or five each day. Results were very poor.

Then we joined two safelists that allow you to mail based on credits you accumulate. You can buy credits pretty inexpensively, but each list allows you to earn credits by finding a link within members emails and, when you click the link, you earn credits for mailing.

Now we didn't think this would make much difference. On one list, every email has a link and its always near the end. So you can breeze right to the bottom to find the link without paying much attention to the ad. On the other list, maybe one in four ads has a link. But it is also at the bottom and, again, you can breeze past the ad to look for the link.

But we found that we did notice the ad in certain situations.  We even responded to several of them. Why did they work?

OPENING THE EMAIL IS HALF THE BATTLE

Most people post to safelists using a junk email address, just like they do with FFA postings. As a result, most of time your ads never get seen. They are either automatically deleted or bulk deleted manually. But if you know the ads contain a link that will get you credits you're not going to do this. You're going to at least open the ad.

And that really is half the battle. You're a long way beyond ordinary FFA leads at this point. People will see your subject line and they will at least briefly see the body of your ad.  You need to take advantage of this opportunity.

WHAT DO PEOPLE NOTICE?

First, your subject line has to create interest, as it does with any ad. Tease your prospect. Don't use the same tired hype you see in so many subject lines over and over again.  People are immune to claims of instant wealth and $6,000 by Friday. They will breeze past these subject lines without a second thought.

Tease, but don't be misleading. Don't use statements like "There is a problem with your account!" or "Payment notification enclosed." It will get you bounced from the list and you will just make your prospect angry.

Pick a particular benefit of the program you are promoting and allude to it in manner that makes your prospect want to know more. For example, if we were sending an ad to promote our upcoming program recommendations page, we might make our subject line "Is your program on the list?" Upon planting this question in the prospects mind, we believe he or she will want to know the answer.

Second, keep the body of the ad short. Tease some more or just tell them where to go for the answer or the information you have alluded to in the subject line.

The body of your ad is not a place to tell them all the details of your program. Let your sales page or your affiliate web site do the selling. Just get them there!

Very short ads get read more often than long, rambling ads.  Use them.

FREE OR PAID MEMBER?

We would recommend joining the lists as a free member.  Especially if you can earn credits that allow you to post your ads more frequently.

Remember that you are posting to the same people over and over again with a few new members thrown in each week. You want them to see your ad multiple times, but every day is a bit much. So posting once per week as free members are allowed to do is probably sufficient.

Join enough safelists as a free member so you can mail a substantial number of ads each day and then rotate through them on a daily basis.

Choose the lists that use the credit system we have discussed and you will get better a response rate. You will also be able to mail more often since it is very easy to earn credits. Here are two that we recommend:

Safelister
http://www.safelister.com/pg.cgi/philcary/index.html
Credit links in every email. Most links are worth 50 credits with occasional links for 500 to 2,000 credits. You also earn credits for referrals. Each credit is one email ad.

AdTactics
http://www.adtactics.com/index.php?ac=philcary
Credit links in every four to six emails. Credit amount per link varies anywhere from 20 to 4,750 credits. Most credits are in the 160 to 360 range. You also earn credits for referrals.  You rack up credits very quickly. Each credit is one email ad.

Use a separate email account when you subscribe to these credit based safelists to separate the credit bearing emails from other junk mail you receive. Then go through them at your leisure to find the links and earn credits.

Copyright (c) 2002

 


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