Spammers have made life tougher for Internet marketers. Anytime you send an e-mail to a subscriber to your e-newsletter, you have to navigate a maze of spam filters and wary readers. The last thing you want is for someone to complain that you are spamming them. Fortunately, most subscribers do not become spam complainers if you correctly manage your relationship with them.

Here are three ways to protect yourself:

1. Send your e-newsletter only to people who have asked for it.

There are lots of ways to get people’s e-mail addresses these days. But it benefits you to send e-mails only to those who have specifically signed up to receive them. If you don’t, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. People who haven’t signed up to receive your e-newsletter (or other information) probably have no interest in what you have to offer. So all you’ll get out of the deal is a bunch of spam complaints.

2. Let subscribers to your e-newsletter know what they’ll be getting.

On ETR’s homepage, for instance, you’ll see a brief description of what the newsletter is all about. Next to that is a sign-up box, above which is clearly stated, “Sign up for our free newsletter.”

3. Establish the tone of your relationship early on.

As soon as a subscriber signs up for your e-newsletter, send them a welcome e-mail. Then start sending them a series of introductory e-mails to let them know what to expect. ETR’s introductory series includes articles that cover some of ETR’s core philosophies.

In addition to these techniques, always include (and honor) a simple “unsubscribe” link in every communication you send. This will allow people to remove their names from your e-list if they do not wish to hear from you again. (This is a legal requirement, so don’t skip it.)

Following these suggestions will go a long way toward preventing spam complaints from your subscribers… and having a long, happy relationship with them.

[Ed. Note: David Cross is Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore. You can profit from all the benefits of starting an online business with ETR’s Magic Button program. Get the details here.]

Although David hails from Blackpool, England – which is often referred to as the “Las Vegas of England” – he shunned a career in show business and instead followed a meandering career path overflowing with “life’s great experiences,” working or living in over 20 countries along the way. Chef, teacher of Transcendental Meditation, guest presenter on QVC, earthquake relief volunteer, CEO of a web hosting company, marketer at a radio station and all combined with years of direct marketing, PR and sales experience for clients as diverse as health food stores, small charities and right up to multinational public companies.
David brought unique talent and experience to his role for six years as Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Publishing Group. Working closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers to test new ideas and marketing campaigns, Agora’s Internet revenues topped $200 million in 2007. David understands and can communicate fluently with creative “right-brain” marketers and analytical “left-brain” IT and software teams, all with equal ease. He has a proven track record for generating results and creative thinking and excels at making trouble to find new ways of making things happen!
He lives on a small farm close to Mount Hood in Oregon with his wife Cinda, a veterinarian, and their four children and a menagerie of animals (no more, please!). When not marketing or brainstorming you’ll find David following a dream of self-sufficiency for food, power and water within 10 years, tending the land and caring for the farm and animals. Not surprisingly, David is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker with many amusing anecdotes from his work and travels over the years.