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Thread: Best way to send out ONE mass mailing to offer opt-in

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    Default Best way to send out ONE mass mailing to offer opt-in

    I have about 50,000 email contacts that I have sent an email to in the past and I'd like to send them one mass mailing offering them an opportunity to sign-up for my Constant Contact monthly newsletter. My question is, how can I reach this size list? I've run into a number of roadblocks so far:

    1) I can't send through an email service like Constant Contact because you need permission to send to these many people. (thus why I want to send this first email out in the first place)

    2) I was going to do a mail merge with Excel and Google Mail, but I then learned that Google has a block of around 200 emails at once and 500 emails per a day...after that point it shuts down your account for 24 hours.

    3) I've thought about going through Mail Chimp, but they explicitely say that you need permission similar to sites like Constant Contact.

    4) I've considered hiring someone in India to send out an email to these 50,000 contacts one by one and pay them the $3/hr wage or whatever but this would be WAY pricey and WAY time consuming.

    Does anyone have any creative solutions? The goal is to hit the 50,000 contacts with one email explaining that I'm launching a monthly Newsletter and briefly go into the benefits and then offer an email sign-up link at the bottom to clean up this massive list.

    Appreciate your thoughts!

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
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    Sounds like spam to me. There's a reason why the likes of Constant Contact want you to have permission from the intended recipients.

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Steve B's Avatar
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    I agree with Spider. There is a reason those roadblocks were put in place - they're trying to prevent you (and them) from breaking the law. I think the penalties are pretty severe.

    I guess you have to build your database much more slowly by having people opt-in via other means.
    Steve B

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    Have these people already opted in or no?

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    Here's the thing, I work in sales for sponsorships and reaching out to new contacts is VITAL to make my business work and it's a very common business practice in what I do. For example, if I were trying to find new sponsors for a celebrity beach house party I would first go to customers that I have an existing relationship and ask if they'd like to participate. After that, I would create a list of new brands that would be interested (sunglasses, suntan lotion, alcohol brands, etc). Yes, I haven't contacted them before, but these brands THANK ME most of the time for sending them these opportunities because this is their lifeblood -- the more opportunities they get to these type of events, the more choice they have for their brand. I'm not offering a ***** pill, ebook, or bullshit video seminar. Even if the event I send isn't something they're interested in most will want future opportunities.

    As is, I already send all my emails in bulk, except one by one, all by me, and it's EXTREMELY time consuming. I'd say I get 1-2 people out of 1,000 who ask to be taken off the list. The rest either don't respond, politely decline, or decline and want future opportunities. Keep in mind I have been doing this for years with no serious complaints (beyond "please take me off your list) and much success, but I'm looking to spend my time growing the business, not sending out 1,000s of emails one by one anymore.

    Also unlike a typical business between a small business owner and joe shmo consumer, I'm targeting only business owners (who are looking for sponsorship opportunities) and PR companies that's JOB is to find these type of opportunities and run it by the brands they work for.

    To answer your question Bill, a percentage of the 50,000 have asked to be sent future opportunities in response to my pitches (not sure if this is considered opt-in) and that's why I'd like to send out just one mass email -- find out who really wants to be kept in the loop so I don't SPAM those that don't. This would be a one time email to cut the fat so to speak.

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    While you may not be pissing off the recipients with your emails, there are lurkers here and beyond that I'm not convinced. I don't think you are going to get helpful advice here on this.

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
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    Sage, Let's consider something for a moment.

    You have 50,000 e-mail addresses. That means 50,000 people at something approaching 50,000 companies, correct? If your message is so right for each and every one of those 50,000 people, you should get 50,000 subscriptions. Will that happen?

    If it does, you will have 50,000 people agreeing to receive your newsletter. But you are not in the newsletter business, you are in the sponsorship bsuiness, rght? This is a free monthly newsletter (only 12 issues a year) and those 50,000 businesses must be spread over a wide variety of business areas. Most of the recipients of the newsletter will not find anything relevant to their particular business very often, right? There'll only be 12 issues a year, after all.

    There is also the possibility that these people are already receiving some other newsletters and/RSS feeds and such, advising them of opportunities. All you are doing is increasing the information overload. Not to mention the downgrade in reputation you will receive from quality clients for your low-quality techniques.

    Here's a better approach that does not involve spamming people. It is technique that will set you apart from other people in your industry and give you far more contact to the right people than a once-a-month generic newsletter.

    Turn your 50,000 e-mail list into a 50,000 person database. (Bill Benson is the king of databases around here.) Along with name and e-mail address you will need company name, telephone number, products to sponsor, type of function preferred, etc. When you have an event to promote, search your database for likely sponsors, e-mail them (and only them) with details of this actual event and a personal invitation to participate. A telephone call a day or two later will get you to the person because your call is specific, relevant and welcome.

    I'll bet you win far more business doing this than spamm... ahem! bulk mailing people with an invitation to subscribe to a newsletter and then hope the right people happen to read your newsletter that month.

    You need to get to know and be known by the people you wish to contact. You need to be on first-name terms so they'll be happy to receive your call, because they know you don't waste their time.

    Added benefit: When they leave their company they will take you with them, and you can sell to the same people over and over, from company to company, from industry to industry. Because, even if they are not in the same job at a new company, they will be able to personally introduce you to the right person at their new company.

    There's a lot to be said for the old way of doing business. Don't use technology to replace it with something inferior - use technology to enhance it and put yourself above your competition.

    Good luck!

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    Frederick, this was a fantastic post with a ton of great thoughts IMO. Thanks Frederick!

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
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    Let me explain why this is such a good idea, Sage. Your approach is asking the prospect (although they are not even a prospect at this stage - merely a suspect!) to help you. You want them to subscribe to your newsletter, then you want them to receive your information and read it every month. You want them to listen to your suggestions. Then you want them to contact you so you can sell them. All this help you want from them - you want, you want, you want. And you, a complete stranger to them! Why should they help you? Think instead what they might want from you.

    My way reverses the situation. You don't contact them until you can help them with something actual and specific. You are helping them, not them helping you.

    Don't worry! What you are considering is common fare for tbe internet. It is the sort of general information that is not necessarily wrong, but is geared towards single person businesses, not substantial business operations where the big money is.

    Here's a way to put yourself on track to grow your business into something substantial, profitable and worthy of great acclaim. Ask yourself, "What would Jack Welch do? What would Oprah Winfrey do?" If either of these people planned to do your job, how would they do it? Would they mess around with penny-anti processes that promised only penny-anti results, or would they do something more productive?
    Last edited by Spider; 08-13-2011 at 04:03 AM. Reason: typo

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    @bill, what do you mean by lurkers? (I'm not hip to the slang). @Sage, are you in the promotional products business? @spider is right. But to directly answer your question. Mailchimp DOES allow you to upload those contacts, IF you can "convince" them this is YOUR OWN list that you had people optin or through some other permission based method. This can be done usually by sending them optins logs or some other proof. IF this cannot be done, you can get some "shady" person/company to send them for you. (I really do hate saying this, but you asked the question - I'm all about open honesty). The person that sends the messages has to be aware of how to not get their IP address blacklisted and passing spam filters, etc. You know upfront that IF these messages are marked as spam and is traced back to you, your ISP will block connection to your site. If you have an e-commerce site.. you will lose tons of money trying to clear this up.. I worked with a client who had this happened...only their computer was taking over by a virus and they were able to prove no malicious intent.
    Last edited by storymashup; 12-13-2011 at 11:33 AM. Reason: spelling.

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