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7 Tips to Successfully Changing Your Email Newsletter Service Provider

Copyright 2009 OnlineBizU.com

There comes a time in every online business owner's life when you will seriously consider changing email newsletter providers. Making the decision to change your email newsletter service is never an easy one. In fact, I tell my clients to choose wisely the first time they pick a provider, as their subscribers will tire of list-hopping and simply leave the list if they are requested to re-subscribe too many times.

Why would you consider changing providers?

--to purge your list and retain your best and most active readers. This is especially effective if you have changed or refined the focus of your business.

--to increase deliverability and/or reduce technical challenges. Many of the more popular list providers are being blocked by major ISPs due to their users abusing the email system by sending out unsolicited emails.

--to incorporate autoresponder and broadcast technology in one place. It's much more effective these days to have a service in which you can use personalized autoresponders to follow up with your ezine subscribers and tell them about your additional features or offerings that they should explore.

--to streamline your database into one location. I've had 3 separate databases for a couple of years, and I'm glad to be migrating them all under one roof, as determining who gets what is becoming more challenging with each passing year.

This changeover can be a complicated, time-consuming process. Here are 7 tips to make the switch a bit easier:

1. Make the change your primary activity. Don't do as I did and choose to launch a major initiative and change your list at the same time. Big mistake. Choose a slow time in your business when you're not promoting a sale or a new product to change your lists. If you try to do too many things at once, you'll confuse your readers, and a confused mind takes no action -- the person simply leaves.

2. Leave yourself plenty of time. Since I send out a weekly ezine, I am choosing to take 30 days to complete the list changeover. My readers are accustomed to hearing from me regularly, so I think that's an adequate amount of time. However, if you contact your readers only once a month or just once a quarter, allow yourself 2-3 months to move the list. If your list isn't accustomed to hearing from you often, they may not be checking their emails regularly or just may overlook an unexpected email from you.

3. Tell your subscribers what's going on. Let your list members know that you will send them several emails over a period of time to request the changeover. Ask for their patience in the process, and let them know that once they have resubscribed, they can just ignore the next 2-3 similar emails that they receive from you. If you choose to import your list to your new provider, you need to email your list beforehand to let them know to expect an automated opt-in email from your new list provider.

4. Provide multiple re-subscribe methods. Make the re-subscription process as easy as possibly for your readers. If your new provider permits, offer your readers both the option to subscribe by email or to go to your website and complete a subscription form By doing so, they can choose the process that works best for them.

5. Give clear, step-by-step directions. Many of your readers may not be Internet-savvy and will get lost somewhere in the resubscribe process. In both your verification and confirmation emails and/or landing pages, create a clear, concise set of step-by-step directions of the steps that they need to follow to get on your new list. Enhance the landing pages with screen shots of the emails they'll receive or the landing pages to which they will be sent, since pictures often speak louder than words.

6. Create interesting and relevant followup autoresponders. If you move to a service that permits you to send out a series of autoresponders upon subscription, take a few moments to brainstorm what other pieces of info you offer that would be of interest to your readers. You can introduce them to your blog or podcast, ask them how they liked your free giveaway that they received in return for subscribing to your list, request that they ask you their most pressing question about your area of expertise, ask them to complete a survey, or introduce them to a lower-end product or service. The key here is to keep them interested in what you offer that will help them solve the problems that keep them awake at night.

7. Expect to lose 50-75% of your list. I don't have tons of evidence to support this statistic, only a small amount of experience and stories from other online business owners who've experienced the same loss numbers in their list transfers. I've discovered that the percentage of your list that will transfer to your new provider is roughly the same as your average open rate of your ezine. This makes perfect sense to me -- the ones who are already reading your broadcasts will want to continue that and be willing to transfer to keep receiving your quality information. The ones who don't regularly read your ezine aren't going to read your request to re-subscribe to another list, either. What's the upside to this depressing statistic? You've purged your list of everyone but your devoted fans, who are much more likely to buy from you in the long-run than a bigger list of unenthusiastic subscribers.

Even though switching your email newsletter list providers isn't easy, sometimes it's the best move to make for your business. You'll create a smaller list of dedicated readers and open the door to add additional subscribers who are interested in what you have to offer.

Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com . Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com .

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