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[epub] Re: Is AOL on your blacklist?
  • To: epub@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [epub] Re: Is AOL on your blacklist?
  • From: "Charlie Page" <charlie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 15:53:09 -0500
  • In-reply-to: <000601c3433d$c8d00d50$9e9ad50c@HOME01>
  • Organization:
  • Priority: normal
  • References: <02ef01c34324$97332160$6502a8c0@merle>

Hello all,

Sorry I've been away for a while. I know this is a long post but it's an
important topic. 

I'm making the decision to ban both all free email addresses and AOL
addresses too. 

While some on this list have called such a move a 'fool thing' and 'not
good business' (and I guess I'll make Ravi's top ten list) I feel there is
good business justification for making such a move in my particular case.
I'm not advocating this for everyone. 

Here is my reasoning. 

A recent review of my ezine list and customer list, as compared to each
other, showed the following. 

Free email and AOL subscribers = 11,300

Customers with free email or AOL addresses = 110

Average sales ticket for free email addresses = $22.30

As a point of reference my list is about 30,000 in size and I have about
4500 customers. See the disparity?

My main product is a membership in the Directory of Ezines which sells for
$39.97. Our average customer value is *much* higher than forty bucks. 

How this applies is that I want to focus on giving more *value* to 
customers and less free stuff to people who only take and don't give back.

Bear in mind, I've been tracking these figures for a year now. 

While I would never hold myself up to be an expert I have been in 
business for over 18 years and owned four separate businesses. I say that
only to say I'm not stupid.

What I intend to do is *focus* on people who want to do business with me.
I've been tracking these numbers for a year now and they don't change.
I've offered $100 products for ten bucks, offered expensive products,
tested various bonuses, etc. 

The bottom line for me is that free email account holders just don't buy.
It could be that I'm not a good enough salesman but my copywriting clients
seem to be happy and their conversion rates always go up when I write
their copy. Sorry if that seems immodest. 

Handling the bounces, autoresponders, and just plain bad folk who 
subscribe with free email addresses takes a *lot* of time, as you all

Now that AOL has instituted their wonderful "Report as spam" feature, AOL
members are actually being encouraged to report as spam "anything" they
think is spam. I'm not anti-AOL by any means, having beta tested for them
for several years and being a former room moderator. 

We all know that subscribers forget they subscribed, so there you go. Spam
complaints from AOL are up about 400% in the last 60 days. 

Oh yes, my research also revealed that over 90% of people who 
subscribe to my ezine with autoresponders are either Yahoo or Hotmail. 

To the degree that I continue saying yes to these people I am saying no to
working more closely with people who are, or will soon become, customers.
And I'm in business to serve customers. 

In our day and age of being spread too thin, I think saying no to free
email addresses, and AOL too, may be more of a customer service issue than
anything else.

All of this said, if someone contacts me and shows *any* valid reason for
needing to use freemail or AOL (perhaps AOL is their ISP) I will happily
welcome them to the list. 

Thanks for listening and for the feedback you have given on this issue.

Charlie Page

Copywriting That Gets Results! -
Ezine Advertising That Works! -

Coming Soon!

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