Bulk E-mail Doesn’t Have to Be Spam

July 2002
by Reid Goldsborough

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E-mail is a hugely successful phenomenon, letting us communicate with far more people using far less effort than any previous communications medium.
But this facility has its dark side–the incessant bombardment of e-mail
in-boxes with ads for illegal “Make Money Fast” pyramid schemes,
pornographic Web sites, quack healthcare remedies, and other come-ons.
As a result, some people misguidedly regard all bulk e-mail as “spam,” a
derogatory term for untargeted, unsolicited bulk e-mail. But if you flip
the spam concept on its head, you have a powerful tool you can use to reach
a lot of people quickly and inexpensively–for business as well as personal
purposes.

The Opt-in Option
To make it work, you keep the bulk part–sending many messages out. But
instead of flinging out untargeted missives, you target your messages to
the interests of your recipients. And instead of heaving them unsolicited–this is crucial–you ask your recipients’ permission before encroaching upon their e-mail in-boxes. You make sure they “opt in.”
One of the best uses for opt-in bulk e-mail is e-mail newsletters. But as
with bulk e-mail in general, there are pitfalls here as well as promises.
To sort out one from the other, I talked to the Queen of e-Newsletters,
Debbie Weil. Along with running her own Washington, D.C. consulting
firm that specializes in helping businesses set up e-newsletters, Weil
publishes WordBiIBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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