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Christopher Knight

List Advertising Ethical Questions
By Christopher Knight

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Today's Ezine-Tip starts with an example:

You really have 20,000 living and breathing subscribers.

If 20% of your list members pass on your posts to their friends, does that mean you have a reach of 24,000 members? Nope.

If you have 100,000 unique visitors to your site, does that mean your list has a reach of 120,000 members? Nope.

If you have a friend who has 20,000 members and you help each other sell advertising in each others list, does that mean you have 40,000 list members? Nope.

You still only have 20,000 list members.

Recently, a permission-based opt-in mailer got caught with their pants down for including some of their affiliates list members as their own, and this caused quite a circus, not to mention that it was damaging to the company's reputation. Public trust was lost for the firm who was riding the hype wave a bit too high.

Because this is a small planet, word will always get around if you are hyping your reality, so play it safe and only share with your advertisers and the public the true numbers of list members you have. It's the honorable thing to do.

If you're going to do anything on the edge, the least you could do is disclose it up-front or within your comments when talking about it in public.

For example, the Network has approximately 32,000+ list members at the time this article is being written, but if you removed all of the duplicates who are on multiple lists we host, we truly only have approximately 21,000 members. I didn't have to share this piece of information, but the truth will always be appreciated by your advertisers and your integrity in the marketplace is one of the most important aspects of running any list as a business.

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for October 08, 1999

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