Lynn M Dot Net

Any idiot can do what I do to make $ online. It's not rocket surgery, it's cake. Also, I like pie.

Let’s talk today about the word Lifetime…. as in, a lifetime upgrade (to an advertising platform or any online site, for that matter).

If I purchase a lifetime upgrade to a site, then I expect three things, in no particular order:

1. That purchase is good for the lifetime of the site – no matter who owns the site or buys it later.

2. That purchase is good for my lifetime – i.e., until the day I, yep, die.

3. That purchase means I will never have to pay for an upgrade again. Some ads for lifetime upgrades even say that – what a concept!

If you purchase a TE or other site that has sold lifetime upgrades in the past, then it’s up to you to have done your due diligence and be aware of the fact that lifetimes have been sold, and how many. It’s not the members who purchased the lifetime upgrades problem if you didn’t do your due diligence and make yourself aware.

It’s also not the members who purchased lifetimes problem that they paid the previous owner of the site for their lifetime upgrade, and not you. You should have, again, done your due diligence and not expected members to pay you a second time for ANY upgrade just because you purchased a site that previously sold lifetimes.

Of course, nothing says you can’t cancel lifetimes and ask members that have already paid for a lifetime to pay again, I suppose, unless the selling owner stipulated as part of the sale that you must honor any lifetime upgrades sold. A lot of good owners will do, and have done, that very thing – stipulating the honoring of previous upgrades in the sale.

But even if there is no stipulation as such, the ETHICAL thing to do is honor those lifetimes (and yearlys and what have you) that were previously sold. That is most definitely the ethical thing to do.

Frankly, in my opinion and a whole lot of other folks’, it’s borderline (if not outright) fraudulent if you don’t honor those lifetimes previously sold… not to mention a real good way to ruin your reputation in the industry, hurt & possibly destroy your site, and find your site(s) banned at a lot of other sites that refuse to promote businesses they feel have acted unethically and/or fraudulently.

Better to close a site down, if you think it can’t operate without honoring lifetime upgrades previously sold – or better yet, don’t buy the site in the first place. Some might say closing down a site that has sold lifetimes is unethical as well, but most of us understand that things happen sometimes. Sometimes it’s just best to shut a site that’s failing or having serious problems down. In those cases, yes, a lifetime upgrade turns out to be for the lifetime of the site.

And if a site can’t function without honoring the lifetime upgrades that were previously sold by the previous owner – well, you can probably do the math on that.

Obviously this is something that has recently happened in the community, and I actually don’t personally have a dog in the hunt. I’m not a member (nor will I ever be, now, ‘cos of all this).

But as a site owner and the member of the community, I don’t like witnessing things like this happening because when something like this happens, it just does more damage in an industry that’s had to fight over and over again to prove many of us are good, honest owners that run honest and ethical businesses. I think we’ve had more than enough troubles in recent months with PayPal’s ridiculousness – stuff like this just piles more on the community as a whole.

Bottom line – When a new owner or owners buy a site and refuse to honor lifetimes previously sold, it winds up hurting us all – some way, somehow, whether a little or a lot. It’s still damaging to the industry as a whole, and – unfortunately and sadly – totally unnecessary.

My $0.02. Happy Friday and an invitation to join us at the Saturday Night Surf Party at Sound Surf Live tomorrow from 6-10pm Eastern for music & fun, party-time-only deals, hourly Door Prizes and more! Come hang out with us tomorrow night!

It seems like I write about this once a year (if not twice), but after yet another frustrating wrestling match with my e-mail box, it seems as good a time any to dust off this old rant once again.

Safelist/mailer mails are a pain to deal with, but for many of us in this industry, they’re a painful necessity. You need credits (in most cases) to be able to send out e-mail advertising through them, which means you either need to upgrade in the ones you use or constantly read/click e-mails you get from them, or a combination of both.

I sent out close to two million e-mails last month for Sound Surf Live, so yeah – I need a lot of mailing credits. I’m upgraded in some of the mailers I use regularly, but not all, so I fall into the “combination of both” category.

I receive several thousand e-mails from the safelists and mailers per week. I’ve got two e-mail boxes I use for such purposes and I attempt to stay on top of them every day, but most of the time I only manage to get around to clearing them out two or three times a week.

I can tell you that those two mailboxes get so much e-mail that if I get up from the computer and walk away for two or three hours, when I come back there will be over 1000 new mails that have arrived in my absence. So, as you can probably imagine, I prioritize a LOT when it comes to sifting through all those safelist and mailer mails.

I tell you all this so I can share with you why I DON’T read and click on what amounts to a large majority of the mail that arrives – far too many of those mails are simply TOO LONG.

I use Gmail, so my basic rule of thumb is this – if the credit link appears “below the fold” – i.e., if I have to page down to get to the credit link – that mail pretty much immediately goes in the Trash. I actually do like to check out other people’s advertising, but I just don’t have time for the extra minutes (possibly hours) it’d take to sift through the long ones.

It’s quite possible that not every safelist user is like me, but I would hazard a guess that many of them are. If folks are busy trying to run a business, then your best bet at getting your safelist mails read and clicked are keeping them as concise as possible (and therefore, hopefully, where that credit link lands “above the fold” in Gmail).

What you say in that e-mail? Not that important, in my opinion. I’m not likely to give it more than a cursory glance and probably a lot of folks won’t read it at all.

Your subject line and (especially) the ad/splash page/site/whatever your credit link is linked to is WAY more important than the body of your safelist mail, when people are already receiving hundreds or thousands of safelist mails daily.

There’s one particular mailer I get mail from daily that, literally, about 90% of the e-mails are way too long. It’s really sad that I’m on average probably only reading/clicking about 10% of those mails, but man, I don’t have time for the long ones and probably not too many other readers do either.

If you’re tracking your results and your e-mails aren’t getting read and clicked, they’re probably too long, simply put. Honestly, an empty/blank mail body with nothing but a credit link is probably better than those ultra long safelist mails (“4 Corners”, anyone?) I keep seeing.

Here are a few tips that will probably help to increase your safelist and mailer clicks (and conversions) a great deal. The below are examples of things I see all the time in mails I end up sending immediately to the Trash, so my advice is to stop doing them (at least #2, #3 and #4):

  • Keep the body of the mail short & concise, which I’ve already gone over above. If you’re familiar with Gmail at all, aim for making your mail short enough that the reader won’t have to page down to get to the credit link.
  • Resist the urge to make the body of your mail appear in large font. It’s liable to make your mail too long to bother with.
  • Don’t use bold font. It’s probably going to make your mail too long.
  • Don’t, don’t, DON’T add in extra space or spaces between the lines of the body of your mail. It’s almost definitely going to make your mail too long.

Pretty straightforward, I know, but these are exactly the things I see when I open up mails that I wind up sending unread and unclicked to the Trash. (If someone mails the same long e-mail often enough with such things, and I get familiar with seeing that subject line often enough, I don’t even bother to open up the e-mail at all before sending to the Trash.)

Like I said, I’ve written about this very thing once or twice a year for about the last six or seven years now and made the same suggestions and recommendations, mainly out of my frustration as a busy business person and frequent mailer and safelist user with a bogged-down mailbox and not all that much time every day to spare.

I certainly have no hopes of markedly changing the entire industry, but if just a few advertisers read this and take it to heart, I figure that gets a few more advertisers some clicks and conversions, probably – and that’s good for everyone involved, from the advertiser to the reader/user to the safelist and mailer owners.

In any case, here’s to less painful and more effective mailing! Have a great day and hope all your future emails get read and clicked more often!

(And if you need some more safelist tools in your marketing toolbox, try Charles Smith’s recently re-launched Advance Safelist!)

Everyone knows Charles Smith. Well, maybe not EVERYONE, but if you’ve been around the traffic exchange and related community for any length of time at all, you almost certainly have run across Charles somewhere or another.

I’ve known Charles for 7+ years and we’ve been friends and colleagues ever since. We were newbies around the same time and I’ve worked with him on several things over the years, helped him learn some stuff here and there, and he’s asked for my advice on occasion (some of which he listened to, some of which he didn’t, LOL).

In any case, Charles is a really good guy and one of the nicest around, and is very well-liked and trusted in the community overall.

All of which makes me even happier to announce that the safelist he opened several years ago, Advance Safelist, is re-launching today, now on the LFMVM script, and with a facelift with a fresh new design.

==> (click here to check out the revamped & re-launched Advance Safelist)

I know he’s got to be super excited about its future in its newly revamped version, and I am too! Charles is just one of those guys who deserves a good win in online business, and I hope Advance Safelist 2.0 will do so and continue to prosper and grow for a long time to come.

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to do business online, so check the newly made-over Advance Safelist, and be sure to add it to your business toolbox arsenal today. (Tell Charles I sent ya!)

Hi, I'm Lynn M & this is my blog.

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