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.

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!)



Just something I was thinking about this week… file this under “things that make no sense to me”.

I’ve told parts of this story before. Almost eight years ago, I lost my full-time offline job, like many did at the time when the economy was tanking. Around the same time my best part-time freelance gig dried up, and not long after that I discovered the traffic exchange community.

After a few false starts and hits and misses, things started going really well. Exceptionally well, even. 2009 and most of 2010 were pretty good years for me and my affiliate and TE stuff.

Then in late 2010, I found myself dealing with a catastrophe of rather epic proportions – i.e., the human tornado that was my ex, and what was in the beginning his dormant (and later his rampant and rampaging) drug addiction – and spent the better part of another year picking up the pieces left after that disaster.

A good bit of that disaster was financial – in 11 years, my ex had blown through not only my entire life savings (and the only pension I ever had), but had outright stolen a pretty large amount of money from me too. I absolutely had nothing left, and barely a penny to my name.

I ended up relocating back among family and friends, and basically had no choice but to live 100% on family charity in the beginning of the next chapter of my life. As a little time went on, I picked up another freelance gig that didn’t pay that great but at least it paid some, and kept trying to put my life back together.

The last time I had any health insurance was in 2007, when I was still working in an at home, but still traditional “non-online”, job. Though there have been a few times it would have been really good to have had insurance, fortunately there have been no epic urgent situations demanding it.

So I relocated and things settled down a bit, but I still had no real income to speak of and, again, no health insurance. Around four years ago, and after about the fourth or fifth time a well-meaning relative made yet another intentionally pointed remark about being sure that I qualified for our state-run health services, I finally made a point of looking into it, just to hush that relative up.

I already pretty much suspected I knew the answer, but even I was a little surprised at part of it. I qualified for our state healthcare (and oodles of other government assistance) only under these conditions:

  • If I was under 21 years of age (I am, and was then, in my forties);
  • If I had minor children (I have no children);
  • And if I stopped working altogether and was bringing in NO income whatsoever.

Yep. If I ceased doing any work to bring any income in at all, then I qualified for ALL KINDS of government assistance. Even though I didn’t get paid all that much (and certainly not a full-time living) with the freelance work I was doing at the time, I would have had to stop doing that too.

Hence the filing under “things that make no sense to me”. The first two qualifying points I kind of expected, but the part about not working at ALL threw me for a loop. It was more or less “we won’t give you anything if you make any money at all, but hey, if you just quit working completely or trying to work at all, we’ll give you all KINDS of benefits!”.

I wasn’t planning to ask or apply for any help anyway, but that, among some other incidents around the same time four years ago, was probably a real turning point in me deciding I was just going to have to work towards making sure I didn’t ever need anyone’s help and could do whatever I needed myself.

And about a year after that when my freelance gig disappeared because the company chose to let all their American workers go and give all those jobs to folks in the Philippines, then it was REALLY time to put that plan into action, though I wasn’t sure how or what exactly.

A month or two after that I wandered back into TE Live one day, joined CTP years after most of my old colleagues had, looked around and found out I still had bits and pieces of the business I’d worked so hard on from 2007-2010 left. I started putting those pieces back together little by little, with a new improved business plan, and y’all know the rest of the story (at least the rest to date).

You CAN come up with something out of literally nothing. The potential is there. Any success all depends, quite literally, on how bad you want it, and how important it is to you to see it be successful, and the “why” behind why it’s important to you. And how much work and effort and time you put into it. Or, semi-mathematically:

X amount of Work + X amount of Effort + X amount of Time = ANY Success.

It’s pretty much that simple… but there is that one thing. You have to put in the amount needed to get what you need, to get what you need and want out. If you don’t do something, you’ll likely see nothing – or at least nothing much.

Do something today. ANYTHING. Just do SOMETHING.

********************

In closing, it was no surprise to me at all that I immediately blew what I guess was my New Year’s resolution a couple of weeks ago of blogging at least once a week, seeing as how I missed last week completely. Seems like every week, before I know it, it’s Friday, and I’m like, “Whoa, where did this week go??”

At least I finally got to it this week before the week was through. Have a super weekend!

WANT TO BUILD MORE PROFITABLE DOWNLINES? – Most of the time I would be putting one of my own affiliate links to a program I consider beneficial to join here.

Most of you reading this have probably already joined Darren Olander’s new program DownlineMaxx already, but if you haven’t –

Rather than me giving you my affiliate link here, I’m asking you to consider joining under my very good friend Sunny Suggs, who has a very excellent mailer that’s my favorite to use these days, My Free Resources, and I’d like to help her in seeing it become a permanent part of DownlineMaxx’s downline builder.

Darren puts out some absolutely fantastic quality mailing and downline tools (I use dozens of mailers and safelists but if I had to choose to use only a handful, with the exception of Sunny’s, they would pretty much ALL be Darren’s), and if you use mailers and safelists at all, then you should be using every single one Darren owns.

So if you haven’t joined DownlineMaxx yet, please consider joining (under Sunny) today!


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Some of the links mentioned within the posts & on banners on this site are my affiliate/referral links, and in such case I may get compensated for recommending those products or websites. However, I will never recommend something that I don't personally believe in on the date originally posted. I welcome your questions and feedback.






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