Safelists became an important marketing tool in the 1990s when email spam was a huge issue. Marketers needed to contact potential clients and customers via email, without being accused of sending spam email, and the safelists were born. Today, many new marketers do not understand what a safelist is, and those who know what it is believe this marketing technique is outdated. Are safelists really outdated as a marketing tool?
What is a Safelist?
A safelist is essentially an email list to which you subscribe. As a subscriber, you can send your ads and offers out to other members of the list. Because all members have opted-in to the list, what you are sending is not spam. All the other members of the list also can send their ads and offers out to the entire list. This, as you might imagine, results in tons of email in your inbox. Most people who use safelists use an alternate email address when joining.
Initially, safelists were effective marketing tools. Today, these old-fashioned safelists are not effective at all, mainly because everyone is sending messages out to the list, but nobody is taking the time to read the ads and offers they receive from the list. This problem resulted in most people ignoring safelists, while others took safelist marketing to a completely new level, and credit-based safelists were born.
Credit-based safelists are more productive because members of the list get credits when they click the link in the email, which will bring them to your landing page or website. Members need credits to send out their own advertisements. Unfortunately, many safelists offer credits for sale, so members who buy credits do not have to click links.
Will Safelists be Productive for You?
Safelists may be more effective in building your own private email list than they are in actually selling your product. You will always find that your own list is far more profitable to you than safelists, and many other marketing techniques. Safelists may also be effective in building a downline for network marketing purposes. The key to success here is to make sure that your subject line is compelling, and of course, to use safelists that are credit based.
Solo mailings to the safelists will be the most productive, but you still should not expect to make sales through safelist advertising. The best way to use the safelists, and to get responses, is to offer something free, instead of directly trying to sell something. Again, your subject line absolutely must make those who scan the subject lines of hundreds, if not thousands of emails want to open the email and read it. You should also avoid long advertisements. Get to the point, and get the reader to your opt-in page for their free report, or free access to information that is relevant or interesting to them. Credit-based safelists will bring traffic to your website. This may not result in sales, but it will increase your hit count and page rank in the search engines.
Some people love safelists, and some hate them. Only you can decide whether safelist marketing will be worth the time and effort involved, and the only way to decide that is to try some of the better safelists out there. The consensus among marketers who have found success with safelists is that they should only be used to build your own list, and credit-based safelists are the only lists you should use. Safelists are not outdated, but the way they are used has definitely changed, and while you can get some results, safelists are still not as effective as other forms of marketing.