As you likely know from personal experience, the value of email has been greatly
tarnished by spam, unsolicited messages, online junk mail. So, many subscribers
and would-be subscribers care very much about the exposure of their email
you rent, sell, or exchange the names of your subscribers to other organizations or
persons? While most of us have no plans to do so when we are small, that opinion
can change as we grow our list.
Quite frankly, once your list gets to a certain size, you may be able to earn quite a
bit of money by renting it out. Many magazine and subscription publishers find that
the difference between a profit and loss is list rental income.
If you do decide to keep the list names strictly to yourself, post a message to that
effect somewhere, either in the email newsletter itself, at sites where you collect the
get more subscribers. To read an example, go my newsletter's web page at http://
If you're not sure whether you will or will not sell or rent the addresses, then put a
note to that effect instead. Many companies do this by saying something like this:
"Would you like to receive information messages by email from our valued
partners?" To that, of course, you add a checkbox. The default position should be
off, which is to say, subscribers have to click on the box to receive those mailings.
And, needless to say, you must then respect the choice they make.
You must also make it quick and easy for subscribers to say good-bye. Each issue
of your newsletter should contain information explaining how to unsubscribe or be
removed from the mailing list. There are many forms this information can take. To
choose one, go through the email newsletters you now receive, and decide which
you like best. Then, prepare your own notice, using this one as a guide. Of course,
you will not copy anything directly, which would be plagiarism.
On the flip side, add information to each newsletter that explains how to subscribe,
and consider, too, putting in a line asking recipients to pass along your newsletter
to someone else who would benefit from it. A simple reminder like that could help
you build your list, painlessly. Recommendations from a trusted colleague or friend
will boost your subscriber list quickly.
subscribers an escape hatch they can access quickly and easily.
Robert F. Abbott, the author of A Manager's Guide to Newsletters: Communicating
for Results, writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Read more articles
about Internet communication, as well as email and printed newsletters at: http://