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Safelist Advertising: How To Get Good Response From It?

In today’s blog, I’m going to share with you how to get good response from safelist advertising.

Many gurus will tell you that safelist is a complete waste of time and to certain extend, I agree. But if you know the tricks, it can be a good source of traffic for you.

Without further ado, here are the tricks to get good response from safelist advertising.

1) Don’t sell. Build list!

Safelist traffic seldom buy stuff on the spot. Don’t advertise your business opportunity directly or sell your product upfront. It won’t work.

Instead, your main job is to give. Give away free gifts, free info and/or arouse their curiosity so that they opt-in to your list.

After they opt-in to your list, you can lead them to a one-time offer using the strategy I shared with you earlier on. If the offer is good, they will bite.

To illustrate, when I advertise LeadsLeap program, the sales page I use is this. (You can use the same page to build your leadsleap team by simply adding your referid at the end of the url).

As you can see, I’m giving away more than 1000 minutes of internet marketing videos. The opt-in conversion is good. After prospects opt-in, they will see my one-time offer. About 5% will take up the offer, but bear in mind that it’s not the end.

Safelist traffic are usually newbies of the newbies. Once they opt-in to your list, if you can feed them with great information and show them the way to make money online, they can be your best long term customers.

2) It all started with a catchy email subject.

Safelist members receive tons of emails a day. Wanting them to read your email is very tough and that’s why most people fail to get much traffic.

(Usually, when you join an individual safelist program, the response is so low that it can be a waste of your time. For better response, it is wiser to use a safelist submitter that allows you to submit your ad to thousands of safelists at one time.)

As I’ve said, safelist members receive tons of emails everyday. When they browse through their list of emails, the only thing they see is your email subject. Therefore the only way to capture their attention is through your email subject.

There are 2 important tips on writing email subject:

i) When writing your email subject, focus on giving and don’t try to sell or hype.

Email subjects such as “Make $3000 A Month On Autopilot” will not work because people know you are trying to sell something.

Instead, email subject like “Free Report: How I Make $3000 A Month On Autopilot” will get some traffic to your squeeze page.

ii) To further increase the response, you MUST make your subject stand out VISUALLY.

This is the main secret, so pay special attention to this.

What I’m saying is you should add some special characters that can make your ad quickly recognizable from the list of email subjects.

To illustrate what I mean, look at the list of email subjects below and tell me which one captures your attention.

Still Reading Commercial Emails For Free?
Start to Increase Your ClickBank Sales Today!
The Gas Alternatives Report : Up To $2000 Monthly!
### Free Report ### How I Make $3000 A Month On Autopilot
You won’t believe this is free
3 Reasons You Should Consider

If you browse through the subjects above, you should see that “### Free Report ### How I Make $3000 A Month On Autopilot” stands out from the rest.

The trick is to use some special characters to increase your chance of having your email subject being read.

Some tricks you can use include:

### Free Report ###
**** Urgent !!! ****
[Unadvertised Bonus]

I’ve also seen people starting an email subject with characters like these:

L@@K HERE >>

Be creative and think out of the box when using characters to capture attention.

But remember, this trick can ONLY capture people’s attention. Eventually, it’s the words that determine if they want to read your ad. Remember to give rather than to sell or hype in your email subject.

Email subjects like this

**** Urgent !!! **** Start to Increase Your ClickBank Sales Today!

will not get you much traffic, but email subjects like this

**** Urgent !!! **** 6000 Free Leads For You At $0 Cost


To sum up, effective safelist advertising begins with 1) a VISUALLY powerful email subject, 2) an irresistible email subject that offers something that one would be crazy to reject and 3) a squeeze page that can get people to opt-in to get the offer, and finally 4) a good follow-up system that lives on the principle of “give and thou shall receive”.

Last but not least, remember that the success of any advertising campaign does not lie in the source of your traffic (so long as the traffic is targeted). More importantly, it lies in the amount of charcoal you have set up.

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    Comment by Calvin
    2008-07-18 23:04:27

    Hey Kenneth,

    Excellent post really..

    What you said certainly makes alot of sense and I must admit I certainly learnt quite abit from this post. :-)


    Comment by George
    2008-07-18 23:42:44

    Hi Kenneth,

    Another great post. I have been using safelists with little results. Thanks for this insight.

    Comment by Chad P. Flick
    2008-07-18 23:50:18

    This is great information I wish I would have had when I started out in 2001. Man the time I could have saved, if Id just had the right learned knowledge. Safelists are still a vital part of my marketing arsenal so my message for the novice is, “Read and absorb what Kenneth is talking about here!”

    Comment by Wong Chang Sheng
    2008-07-19 00:16:28

    Hi Kenneth,

    Thanks for the sharing.

    I used the trick and the traffic to my “Success University Team Building Plan” has increased by 20%

    I’m so happy!

    Thanks again, Kenneth.

    Comment by Willy
    2008-07-19 00:59:52

    These are extremely practical advice for people looking to work with safelist! Thanks Kenneth!

    Comment by Maurice
    2008-07-19 01:55:54

    The biggest problem with safelists is that members with any savvy whatsoever simply divert all the list emails into a “dump” account where they are automatically nuked or bulk deleted.

    Creative subject lines are important but pretty ineffective in the scenario outlined above. Compared to a list of your own, the whole safelist thing doesn’t really stack up. You might get lucky and snag a few newbies with your sales pitches but in my experience that’s about it. Not so great as a long term marketing strategy.

    Comment by Kenneth Koh
    2008-07-19 11:24:07

    Maurice, I totally agree. That’s why safelist at a “single program” level is nearly a waste of time. But if you use a safelist submitter, the story can be a little different. You are talking about sending millions of emails and getting a couple of hundred traffic, compared to sending 5000 emails only to get 1 traffic.

    Comment by Maurice
    2008-07-19 02:00:20

    Sorry, hit enter too early…I meant to add have added that your recommendations are very good ones - i.e. using the safelists to try and build your own list but response levels have always been pretty poor in my experience.

    Comment by Bill Masson
    2008-07-19 03:12:22

    Safe lists are only good for one thing and that is traffic, & i agree you have to give away & offer enticing free products.
    Your mindset has to be traffic, but it is advisable to experiment with your message format to see what works best for your campaign.

    Comment by srie
    2008-07-19 05:07:50

    Thats very good tactic & advice. Thanks

    Comment by kar
    2008-07-19 06:11:57

    Leaping Lizards ! Leads Leap is So Cool!
    Today’s the first blog I have received & I’m so excited with all the links!
    Great Idea..thanks!
    I will be looking forward to the next issue.

    Comment by Eddie
    2008-07-19 07:00:52

    This is my first blog, so I am kind of feeling my way through this, hopefully it will get better as I go along with leads leap

    Comment by Vikki Gigante
    2008-07-19 08:55:35

    This is a great idea! Thanks!


    Comment by Paul Penafiel
    2008-07-19 13:47:29

    Autosubmitters and mass auto delete almost wiped out the safelist industry several years ago and I don’t understand how you can recommend something that can wipe out the safelist industry.

    Go ahead, use autosubmitters and inbox cleaners because other people will be doing the same thing and fewer people will look at your ad which will diminish your safelist campaign and eventually it will become useless.

    Comment by Maria Ines Gonzalez
    2008-07-19 17:24:55

    WOW! I always wait for your email to read the post in this Blog. Everything that I learn here, I do it right away and I get results. Thank You…!

    Maria Ines

    Comment by Karen
    2008-07-19 20:39:14

    Personally, I hate emails that start with fw: or re: unless it is a follow-up to an earlier email received from that same person. Other than that I think this has some merit.

    Comment by Carol Oon
    2008-07-19 21:29:34

    Kenneth, thank you very much for another great article. I would like to post this article to my blog soon.

    I have used safelist submitter before and it works well for me. I will take your advice and advertise LeadsLeap program using that sales page you mentioned. Thanks again. :)

    Comment by Mike
    2008-07-22 12:50:38

    How do i do what you said about using your web page?email me back and tell me ok? I thought it was good!

    Comment by Ron
    2008-07-23 05:13:26

    This is all pure gold, Kenneth. You have pretty much covered all the basics related to smart safelist marketing.

    In addition, I would like to add that the recent advent of quality credit based safelists has helped raise safelist email open rates higher than before. This is because mailing credits are necessary to send emails, and safelist members earn them by opening safelist mail and clicking on the links to earn credits. Again, the subject line needs to be eye catching, but more of them will be opened due to the readers’ need for mailing credits. I suggest searching google for “credit based safelists” to find some good ones to join.

    As you stated, List Building is the ONLY reason to use safelists. Therefore, you need at least 3 things:



    Keep up the great work.


    Comment by Ron
    2008-07-24 08:20:14

    Nicely done Kenneth.

    You’ve touched on just about everything.

    I’d like to add that there are some great credit based safelists out there that have much better open rates because you need to earn mailing credits in order to mail out your own ad. Of course the subject line is still most important. Do a google search for “credit based safelists”.



    2008-08-30 08:25:00

    Thanks for the info. I have been wanting to use safelists but was never sure where to start or who to trust. This cleared up alot of things that I didn’t know before.

    2008-08-30 08:30:53

    Also I just found a safelist program that will allow me to submitt 37 million emails for a one time fee of $10. I am going to give it a shot and let you know how it works.

    Comment by gerrit
    2008-08-31 01:44:30

    Thanks Kenneth what a brilliant article. If someone knows how to get success online thats you Kenneth - love your ideas vey much.

    Your Partner in success

    Comment by Marc Marseille
    2008-09-10 10:28:45

    Great Post Kenneth…I couldn’t agree more. Another strategy I use that works well in the E-mail subject is to ask a compelling question. For example “Are You Generating Enough Traffic To Your Website?

    Marc Marseille

    Comment by Greg
    2008-09-28 10:34:12

    And I thought I knew everything about using safelists :-)

    Seriously though Kenneth, you mention some very useful ideas here and I’ll be sure to implement some of them when I next send a mailing… great post!


    Comment by Randy Wheeler
    2008-10-19 03:10:59

    I have been advertising using IPostAd and the exposure has been great.

    However, getting people to READ the email is always the issue.

    This is good advice and I will put into practice now!

    Comment by tim fulcher
    2009-06-22 15:36:49

    There is no doubt that safelist advertising can be a really effective method of advertising online. This is because you are “hitting” the largest possible range of people in the quickest amount of time

    The problem is that so many people do it the wrong way

    The key is to learn how to write emails that will get a response (this takes time and dedication) and to track your clicks so as to find out what messages work for you and which are a waste of time. Remember - never pre-judge what will work, it can be surprising sometimes which messages give the best response. You might think a message stands out - as mentioned above - but does it stand out to other people? e.g. “### Free Report ### How I Make $3000 A Month On Autopilot” is not a subject line that I would open

    Your reference to wild card characters e.g. #@*~-$ etc is not always a good method. Many people get thousands of email messages from safelists, and so an easy way to filter out the trash is to filter for wild cards. This can mean that messages with wild card characters may never be seen

    Another point to remember is that people scan read their emails. This means their eye will follow down the left hand side of a column of emails. If you put too many wild characters in there, theres a good chance someone will miss the gist of the message completely

    There is also a character limit on subject lines, so that after 25 characters or so your subject line will be chopped by the email client. So its better to have a punchy title which summarises what people will “get” if they open the email i.e. what are the benefits

    If you want to really succeed with safelists then you should run your own safelist and use a submitter to post to over 2,000 safelists in one go. This way you are automatically building your list, and people are in a “warm” frame of mind when they see your banners and text ads, when the come to post their own ads. A kind of reverse marketing strategy which works every time, however its not a “free” option

    Comment by EasyExtraMoney
    2010-01-28 18:34:44

    I appreciate the comments in this thread and it is quite informative. Always remember, that beyond the “free offer” and before your start monetizing from safelist traffic, is to look at the PR or Alexa ranking of the site making you an offer.

    Just think that if this sort of traffic works for them, then they should have a steady stream to their website, plus lots of links as well.

    2011-03-26 02:06:22

    That is my first blog, so I am sort of feeling my way by way of this, hopefully it’s going to get higher as I go together with leads leap
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