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Opt-In Lists

Seriously, why wouldn't you purchase an "Opt-In" mailing list to help you distribute your product information?


Let's say you got a bulk emailing from someone. It says "You can buy an opt-in list. Cheap!" And you say, "Oh, goody!" And you spend the money to get your hands on that list. After all, an opt-in list is a list of people who have said, "I want to receive offers by email!" Right?

Not necessarily. In fact, highly unlikely. How does an email address get into an opt-in list? Well, there are a couple possibilities.

They may have been harvested from the internet by an email sniffer, and dumped into the opt-in list, even though the email address owner never agreed to anything. "But that doesn't actually happen!" you might think. Think again. I have email addresses which are never used for anything except as contact addresses listed on my website. I've never sent email on those addresses, and I've never filled out webforms using those email addresses. Yet somehow, they end up in opt-in lists.

The other possibility? The owner of the email address purchased a product online, and didn't notice that the 'I want to receive offers from affiliated sites' checkbox was pre-checked. In other words, their email address was added by default. Do you really think they want to hear from you?

Stop and think about it. How many people do you know personally who would actually choose to be on a bulk email list? So when you purchase that mailing list, probably 95% are people who do not, under any circumstances, want to receive emails from people they don't know. So by sending them an unsolicited email, you have destroyed a possible business relationship with people who, if they stumbled across your product through any other marketing technique, might have been interested.