Why use safelists?
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and profitable forms of online business. Spam, on the other hand, is most definitely not. Yes, the task of building a list is complicated (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint) by the need for permission.
Building your own ‘safe’ list of email recipients can be a herculean task, a major roadblock on the path to online success. Thankfully there are loads of safelist owners online willing to let you email their list(s)… for a price, of course.
Safelist owners charge varying amounts of money for the privilege of sending an email to their list members. Many safelist owners provide a ‘free’ membership level however, allowing you to earn ‘mailing credits’ by viewing emails from other list members. This process of ‘clicking for credits’ can be a bit of a pain at times, but once you get a rhythm going it’s not such a big deal and the payoff can really be worth it.
The only problem with using such free safelists is that they’re usually less responsive than a list you purpose build for yourself. So how can you find responsive free safelists?
How to find responsive free safelists.
The only way to find responsive free safelists is to roll your sleeves up and test heaps of them out! Here’s how:
- First you need to be able to track your links. Use a free social bookmarking site that provides analytics (Bit.ly is popular) to create a tracking link to the URL of an offer or website you’re promoting.
- Promote that link to every free safelist you possibly can, sending the maximum number of emails at the maximum frequency allowed by the list owner. Don’t forget to keep clicking for credits to make sure you’ve got enough mailing credits.
- Keep a spreadsheet to document the results over a period of a few weeks or more. You can create your own spreadsheet if you’re good at that sort of thing, or use this one I’ve created for you. Calculate the Click Through Rate (CTR) for each safelist. CTR is determined by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of emails sent. The higher the CTR, the more responsive a safelist is likely to be.
That probably sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Don’t worry though, I’ve done all the hard work for you. I tested more than 40 safelists over a period of a couple of months and I’m happy to share my results.
And the winners are…
You’re always best to do your own testing, but here’s my ‘Top 10′ most responsive safelists according to Click Through Rate (CTR):
- ListJoe.com is super easy to use, with a professional looking user interface that isn’t repulsive. With a peak click through rate (CTR) of 6.67% ListJoe really does seem to be a standout. Free members are allowed to email up to 1000 randomly selected list members each week. It’s worth noting that ListJoe mailing credits are very scarce and hard to come by so it’s difficult to earn enough credits to use the service for free. If you’re willing to part with a few dollars to become a paid member I’d certainly recommend it.
- WonderMailer.com is next on the list with a CTR of 5.40%. The website is difficult to look at, with a very dowdy user interface, but it’s easy to navigate and use, so it’s definitely a great free option.
- ViralListBuilderPlus.com sits in third place with a CTR of 3.40%. The website looks a bit old and drab bit it’s easy enough to find your way around and set up all of your ads.
- TWE-Safelist.com comes in at number four with a CTR of 1.65%. Another ugly website. I’m amazed the number of safelist owners who are happy to operate with such unprofessional looking sites. It’s perfectly functional though, and I guess that’s the most important thing.
- State-of-the-Art-Mailer.com (SOTAM) scrapes into the top half of my list at number five, with a CTR of 1.47%. The website looks like it was designed and built by a fourteen year old girl and is a pain in the neck to navigate, but if you can put up with that it seems to be quite responsive.
- Marketer-Safelist.com falls in at number six with a CTR of 0.73%, just half that of SOTAM. The Marketer-Safelist website is a bit old and ugly, but it functions.
- GOTsafelist.com trails at number seven, with a CTR of 0.72%. The website is clunky and ugly, but not as bad as some I’ve seen. At the end of the day it works.
- EffectiveSafelist.com and MySafelistMailer.com tied for eighth place, sharing a CTR of 0.41%. Interestingly both of these sites are very similar and there are no outstanding features to separate them.
- DragonSafelist.com narrowly escapes last place on my top 10 list. With a CTR of 0.36% and a neat, almost professional looking website, DragonSafelist is one of my most frequently used safelists, partly because it’s very easy to earn DragonSafelist mailing credits.
- CrocsHideaway.com just makes it into my top ten, with a CTR of 0.34%.There’s nothing particularly special about CrocsHideaway but it’s a big list and you’d be crazy not to sign up as a free member.
So there you have it! My top 10 most responsive free safelists. Please leave me a comment before you go, and if you enjoyed the article you’re more than welcome to register for free updates via email.