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Old 02-18-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
Gregg Bell
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Any good way of getting email addresses?

I've got a novel coming out about a preacher who witnesses a gang shooting and can hardly advertise to gang members but would like to get email addresses of pastors or other clergy and send to them. The problem is the people who sell email addresses are really expensive and who knows how reliable the addresses are. Any ideas?
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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I'd suggest that you need to be very careful. Sending mass email to a list of addresses that you've bought will almost certainly get you added to various black lists as a spammer. Finding email addresses for clergy and sending mass email to them is possibly less likely to get you labelled as a spammer, but it's still a distinct possibility.

Once you've been listed as a spammer, it can be very difficult to get removed from the lists, and if you're on a list, some (most?) email providers won't accept email from you.

Since you're in the US, if you do decide to go ahead, you'll have to make sure you comply with the CAN-SPAM act. I think (but I'm not sure) that you'll also have to comply with any anti-spam laws in the countries where the recipients live.

I'd suggest a better idea is to set up a mailing list that people can subscribe to. If you use a company like MailChimp or Aweber they'll help you ensure that you comply with anti-spam laws. Plus, you'll know that every person on the list has chosen to get information about your new releases (or whatever you advertise the list as being for), so you'll get a much better response rate.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's just begging for backlash. I highly recommend that you DO NOT do that.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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What about making QR code business cards with a brief description of your book, and leaving them out in places where ministers gather?
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #5
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When I first read this I thought you were asking for details about a plot point (how would a minister get email addresses to do a mail-out). I don't think I'd recommend it as a marketing tactic, but I do think it has has merit as a plot idea . Do ministers hang-out online? Do they blog? I don't know, but that's the sort of thing I'd be looking for if you really want to try and get in front of them.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #6
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yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
I'd suggest that you need to be very careful. Sending mass email to a list of addresses that you've bought will almost certainly get you added to various black lists as a spammer. Finding email addresses for clergy and sending mass email to them is possibly less likely to get you labelled as a spammer, but it's still a distinct possibility.

Once you've been listed as a spammer, it can be very difficult to get removed from the lists, and if you're on a list, some (most?) email providers won't accept email from you.

Since you're in the US, if you do decide to go ahead, you'll have to make sure you comply with the CAN-SPAM act. I think (but I'm not sure) that you'll also have to comply with any anti-spam laws in the countries where the recipients live.

I'd suggest a better idea is to set up a mailing list that people can subscribe to. If you use a company like MailChimp or Aweber they'll help you ensure that you comply with anti-spam laws. Plus, you'll know that every person on the list has chosen to get information about your new releases (or whatever you advertise the list as being for), so you'll get a much better response rate.
Thanks Russell. I'll be careful. And I'll definitely check out the MailChimp, Aweber stuff. I'm vaguely aware of the anti-spam laws and don't want to be listed as a spammer. It's just a question of how to get it in front of people. I figure if I do it on a pastor by pastor basis, don't break any laws (lol), I'll be okay. Really appreciate the input.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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thanks

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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Yeah, that's just begging for backlash. I highly recommend that you DO NOT do that.
No desire for backlash.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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lol thanks

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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
When I first read this I thought you were asking for details about a plot point (how would a minister get email addresses to do a mail-out). I don't think I'd recommend it as a marketing tactic, but I do think it has has merit as a plot idea . Do ministers hang-out online? Do they blog? I don't know, but that's the sort of thing I'd be looking for if you really want to try and get in front of them.
I went back and looked at my original post and could see the plot point thing. lol
And that's really good advice about checking out ministers' blogs. I can post a message on their blogs (and not have to worry about the anti-spamming laws) and then maybe offer them a free book or ask them to review it. Really good idea. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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I went back and looked at my original post and could see the plot point thing. lol
And that's really good advice about checking out ministers' blogs. I can post a message on their blogs (and not have to worry about the anti-spamming laws) and then maybe offer them a free book or ask them to review it. Really good idea. Thanks for sharing it.
If you're not careful about it, all you'll get is defined as a blog spammer and blocked from commenting anywhere. A better approach is to find a minister that blogs (and seems to have traffic on the site and relevant to what you want) and then see if there are contact details on the site and ask politely whether they'd be interested in a free copy of your book to review on their blog.

PS: Then again, given my own (lack of) marketing skills I'm not sure I should be offering advice.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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I figure if I do it on a pastor by pastor basis, don't break any laws (lol), I'll be okay. Really appreciate the input.
I'm not sure that doing it "on a pastor by pastor basis" will stop you being labelled a spammer. In the UK, the Information Commissioner's website says (my emphasis):
Quote:
The most important thing to remember is that you can only carry out unsolicited electronic marketing if the person you're targeting has given you their permission.
If you collect emails for people and then send them marketing, you'll fall foul of that rule, whether you send out a mass email or write each one by hand. My understanding is that the relevant law is determined by the location of the recipient, so if you send to someone in the UK you'll need to abide by UK law. I get the impression that you're planning to send to pastors in the US, so UK law won't be relevant, but I'd imagine the provisions will be similar.

Also, the law isn't the only issue (and it's arguably not even the biggest issue). The black lists have their own criteria, which aren't necessarily based on the law. If you behaviour looks like that of a spammer, whether it's legally defined as spam or not, you'll get listed, and once you're listed you'll find that many people won't receive your emails. As gmw said, the same applies to blogs, if you're identified as a blog spammer you'll find it difficult to comment on many blogs.

I'd strongly recommend you ditch your plan to email pastors. I think you'll find it extremely difficult to get a reasonable response rate while not being labelled a spammer. According to MailChimp, an average of 22-48% of emails sent through them are opened (it varies a lot by industry), and only about 1-5% of people click on links in those emails. These are emails sent to people who have specifically asked to receive those emails, so you can expect to get a much lower rate from emails sent "on spec". This page says that direct email marketing gets a 0.12% response rate - that's roughly one response for every 833 emails.

My own suggestion would be to participate on blogs and forums that pastors frequent. Don't just post links to your book, participate in the discussions normally. Include a link to your website in your signature, possibly include a note stating that free review copies are available. Maybe use your book cover as your avatar.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #11
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thanks

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Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
What about making QR code business cards with a brief description of your book, and leaving them out in places where ministers gather?
Thanks for the feedback. That's a really outside-the-box approach. Clever. Appreciate it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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I'm convinced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
I'm not sure that doing it "on a pastor by pastor basis" will stop you being labelled a spammer. In the UK, the Information Commissioner's website says (my emphasis):


If you collect emails for people and then send them marketing, you'll fall foul of that rule, whether you send out a mass email or write each one by hand. My understanding is that the relevant law is determined by the location of the recipient, so if you send to someone in the UK you'll need to abide by UK law. I get the impression that you're planning to send to pastors in the US, so UK law won't be relevant, but I'd imagine the provisions will be similar.

Also, the law isn't the only issue (and it's arguably not even the biggest issue). The black lists have their own criteria, which aren't necessarily based on the law. If you behaviour looks like that of a spammer, whether it's legally defined as spam or not, you'll get listed, and once you're listed you'll find that many people won't receive your emails. As gmw said, the same applies to blogs, if you're identified as a blog spammer you'll find it difficult to comment on many blogs.

I'd strongly recommend you ditch your plan to email pastors. I think you'll find it extremely difficult to get a reasonable response rate while not being labelled a spammer. According to MailChimp, an average of 22-48% of emails sent through them are opened (it varies a lot by industry), and only about 1-5% of people click on links in those emails. These are emails sent to people who have specifically asked to receive those emails, so you can expect to get a much lower rate from emails sent "on spec". This page says that direct email marketing gets a 0.12% response rate - that's roughly one response for every 833 emails.

My own suggestion would be to participate on blogs and forums that pastors frequent. Don't just post links to your book, participate in the discussions normally. Include a link to your website in your signature, possibly include a note stating that free review copies are available. Maybe use your book cover as your avatar.
I'm abandoning my career as an email spammer before it starts! lol I just checked out Mailchimp. Boy, it looks tailor-made for somebody like me. Thanks for recommending it. And the blogs and forums and signature and book cover avatar. All great advice.

Personally, I think I need to change my approach to this whole thing. Like everybody,I want fast results, but I've been so focused on marketing I haven't thought about (or done) writing in months. I'm going to be content with 'slow growth.' Just being myself in social forums. Marketing, sure, but not getting lopsided with it, and writing more books and getting them out there.

Thanks for all the great advice.
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