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The Power Of An In House Opt-In Mailing List

By John Stone
Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Much is said on the Internet today about Email Marketing and why it is so important to your web business. If that is really the case, then why do I get so mad when my mailbox fills up with six gazillion emails that I never asked for. Better yet, they tell me in the email that, "You signed up with one of our marketing partners."

"No way," I say. The email address that they are using is one that I use exclusively as a promotional address. Meaning, I use it to receive response mail from a group of targeted individuals, not when signing up for things.

You know - This is a nice time for a little break in my point. Don't you just get tired of people lying to you about how they got your email address? Well here is what I do. Since I have my own domain (several actually), I can have as many email addresses as I wish. I give out the web site name as the front half (left of the @) and my domain name on the back half (right of the @). So if I sign up for an account at, I would use "" This way, I will always know where the addresses originated. All other email addresses are guarded closely and never given out to the likes of a sly online business person (like myself).

Enough of that! So it occurred to me, "if I get ticked off at all the emails, are the people that get my emails getting this ticked off?" The answer, maybe or maybe not. "Great John, I came looking for advice and you give me the maybe answer. Geeze!"

The truth is, I market exclusively "Opt-In." And it is to a list that is 100% self generated. All the addresses are from people that have come to my site, for one reason or another, looking for information that they were interested in. My auto-responder takes care of the rest.

When entering the site, prospective clients are greeted with a powerful message to receive a world class Ezine with articles from top marketing gurus. "Click Yes to sign up now!" My pages have a "Quick Subscribe" button to allow them to sign up if they passed the first time.

Every page I have has the ability to produce the pop-up. The auto-responder keeps track of the occasional "no" answer (and will not display the pop-up again), to make sure that we are not annoying for the visitor. Click here for an example. They only get the message on the first page they visit. If they leave and come back, they get it again. This way, if the visitor is referred to a page other then the home page (by an affiliate or a search engine) they can "Opt-In."

The result, everyone on my list made a choice to be there when they were looking for services that I offer. My mailing list is full of people that have asked to be there and are wanting information from me. My Gosh, it's nice to be liked!

The bottom line - my lists have a 4% or less opt-out rate! That means that 96% of the people that asked for my information will continue to get it. And my Spam complaint rate - 0%. Not that someone wont ever turn me in for it, but it has not happened yet.

The point of this article - If you are not building an in house email list, you are loosing sales. You are far better off putting your sales letter in front of people looking for your services than you would be by just throwing them out to whomever. They become your clients, accustomed to your information. They get to know you.

To your success,

John Stone

About the Author
John Stone is the founder of, a service based Internet site dedicated to delivering solutions for the small business owner. John has released several commercial software products and provides web hosting at discount prices. Software products include small utilities for organizations, automation and web site control including Publication Manager (an Email Auto-responder) and Ad Manager (a web page automation tool). John is also recognized as a Perl automation expert and offers advice to the Internet newbie through and


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