In simple terms, an internet marketing safelist is a list of email addresses that belong to people who have agreed to accept mailings.
Safelist members can often find their inboxes bombarded with hundreds of emails each day. Sometimes these are from marketers who are trying to build their lists by offering downloads and other freebies, but more often than not the mailings will be from internet marketers hoping to make a sale.
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In many ways joining an internet marketing safelist is a little like agreeing to have your inbox spammed throughout the day, but the mailings are not spam, of course, because list members have agreed to receive these mailings. Why? Because by doing so they are permitted to send their own mailings to the list.
Many safelists are free to join, but some of the—supposedly—better ones may require new users to pay a one-off membership fee. With others continued membership may require a monthly payment. In the case of lists that offer free and paid membership options paying members are usually allowed to send an increased number of mailings and/or mail to a larger number of members.
Most list members set up a dedicated (throw-away) email address to receive their safelist emails. This is a highly recommended practice. Users who sign up with their main email address will quickly regret it when a blitz of marketing emails makes their regular emails difficult to find.
Logging into a safelist and sending daily/weekly mailing is all well and good, but many safelist members empty their inboxes without reading a single email. So sending out a mailing to an internet marketing safelist that consists of many thousands of members does not guarantee many thousands of people will actually read it.
With so many members who are only interested in selling it isn’t surprising that some seasoned netpreneurs consider using internet marketing safelists to be the online equivalent of flogging a dead horse. It’s easy to understand how they could reach such an opinion, but some marketers can and do successfully build their lists and/or market their products to safelist members so it would be unfair to discount internet marketing safelists out of hand.