Internet Marketing Tips – Ethical Vs Unethical List Building
I really didn’t think this topic needed to be addressed but there are people out there who are really abusing the concept of building their lists. In this article I am going to CLEARLY spell out the difference between building your list ethically and building your list unethically. I hope the difference between the two is very clear to everyone who reads this.
First off, for those who don’t know what list building is, it’s the practice of building a subscriber list in exchange for something that you are offering to this person. The offer could be a free report, maybe some software to try or maybe even a weekly newsletter series teaching this person some thing or another. The bottom line is this. In exchange for your product or service, the person provides you with their email address so that you can then send them emails, under the can spam 2003 act of course, which means your emails MUST contain your postal address and an unsubscribe link for the person to get off of your list.
Okay, so what is the ethical way to do this? Very simple…you MUST make the person aware that in exchange for receiving your product or service or newsletter that they WILL be put on this list. You cannot trick them into doing this. That is a violation of not only email marketing laws but common sense. You’re not going to get anywhere by tricking people.
Next, you MUST provide an unsubscribe link in your emails. Some people leave these out or, if they’re really sneaky, they put about 100 blank lines between the end of the message and the unsubscribe link so that people can’t find them. This is unethical and isn’t going to keep a lot of subscribers once word gets out that you use these tactics.
On the other side of the coin, those people who complain that they shouldn’t have to subscribe to a list to get your report, or whatever it is you’re giving them, obviously don’t understand that this is still business and you don’t get anything in this world by just giving things away. Nobody is forcing them to opt in. If they don’t want to, they can just forgo your free report. Nobody is forcing them to get it. But this entitlement mentality also drives me nuts. I have every right to feed my family as they do. I’m being kind enough to offer tons of valuable content for free. The least they can do is provide me with their email address so that I can occasionally send them my offers.
List building is a two way street, but there are marketers out there who do not build their lists ethically. I hope this article clearly points out what you must do in order to build a list with integrity and honesty.
To YOUR Success,