eBay does not allow me to add in email addresses of our buyers from the past. When we used Marketworks, we had an Opt-in section available during buyer checkout, thereby getting about 500 subscribers. eBay store reps tell me the buyers have to join the newsletter request for me to send them something.
I have no idea how to set up or use an autoresponder. My research has pointed out we need to have one. Right now my email address mentioned above are stored on my HD in Excel format, which I know nothing about either.
So, here we set, with all these old email addresses from buyers of our stuff and I can do nothing with them.
Check your eBay knowledge now.
First of all you need to get an autoresponder set up and running. Many autoresponders require you to confirm your list before mailing it. This means when you set up the new account all past subscribers are sent an email saying they need to confirm their subscription. This will cause you to loose a large segment of your list.
Most autoresponder companies provide excellent tutorials. I recommend Aweber. They do a good job. If you need more advice on managing your newsletter, my book Newsletter Profits will help you. The book explains everything from setting up an autoresponder to writing newsletters and promoting products.
Concerning getting your old buyers to subscribe to your newsletter. According to the CAN SPAM act, Spam is described as unsolicited commercial email sent to people you do not have a relationship with. You have a relationship with your past buyers so anything you send them is not Spam.
EBay might say you can’t send emails to your past buyers without permission, but the law says you can. I recommend you send a single email to your past buyers reminding them of their purchase and then inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter. Tell them why subscribing is a good idea, and then provide them with a link to your sign up page.
You should send these out by hand. One email at a time, over a weekend. I know it’s a hassle, but sending them in bulk will make it harder for you to pass muster if someone complains.
You can write your invitation in word, and then use Shortkeys Lite to paste it into your outgoing messages. Shortkeys Lite is a free program that replaces preselected codes with longer passages. Or write it up and then set it as your signature file in your email program. Then all you’ll have to do is click on the email address to create a new email, and write a title.
Only send the invitation out once. You might get 1 or 2 people out of a hundred complaining to eBay, but even if eBay responds to the complains you are unlikely to get more than a warning. By doing it over a weekend, you should be able to get all of them out before anyone complains to eBay. Remember, they told you not to subscribe someone to your newsletter without permission. You are just asking people for permission.
As a side note here. I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask eBay for clarification of their rules. If you are confused about the rules, ask outside eBay for advice. For almost all rules violations, eBay will warn you when you break them. I am not saying you should break the rules, but stepping over the line a little bit won’t hurt you.
See also Building An Email List On eBay.
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