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Using Safelists Effectively

Updated on January 25, 2013

What IS a Safelist?

A safelist is typically a form of credit-based email marketing. Users who sign up agree to receive emails and offers from other users in order to be able to send out their own offers. It can be an alternative to building your own list in a way (but significantly less effective).

The majority of safelists work on credits. When a user clicks on a link in an email and stays on the page it opens for a few seconds, they will be rewarded in credits. Credits can then be used to send out their own email to other users. Most credit based mailers work on the basis of one credit equalling one person. The amount of credits offered per email varies greatly between safelists… Some offer just one credit per click, so you have to literally open thousands of emails to just be able to send one out, and some of the more generous ones offer 40 or 50… Some even more.

Many safelists also have options for members to pay to send out a solo ad to all members. Solo ads tend to be worth more credits to the receiver than a standard email sent out through the credit mailer.

Note:Before joining a safelist it is a good idea to set up a separate email account as the amount of emails you will be receiving is going to be high (up to thousands per day in the bigger safelists). It is also wise to set up a filter for each safelist; this makes it easier to find the emails that will earn credits in a particular safelist. It's a lot easier than searching through a jumbled inbox.

Do Safelists Work?

If utilised correctly, yes, safelists can definitely work. Don't expect a miracle, though. The best thing you can do in your business is to build your own mailing list of clients who will grow to trust you and stay with you. Don't use safelists as a substitute. Nothing is more effective than promoting to your own list; to people who have signed up to receive emails from YOU specifically.

The truth is that most safelist users are using safelists to build up credits and send out their own emails. They're looking to sell to you, not buy from you. That's not to say that they won't buy, but don't rely on safelists to convert your offer into sales.

Below are some tips that will help you get the most out of using safelists and give you a better chance of seeing some success.

Tips on Using Safelists

  • Create an eye-catching subject.
    The subject line of your email is by far the most important part. This is where you need to focus your efforts. You need to create a subject that will MAKE the receiver WANT to open it and read your email. You have to remember that a lot of active safelist users will be receiving hundreds - maybe even thousands - of emails per day. You need to make yours stand out from the crowd.
  • Make your subject line unique.
    Aside from your subject being catchy and attention-drawing, it also needs to be unique. This is particularly crucial if you’re sending out an offer for an affiliate program that already has sample emails written up for you to use. Some of the more established safelists that send high volumes will group together emails that contain the same subject, meaning that yours may not be the one that is clicked when someone decides to open and read the email. If you are promoting an affiliate link that others are likely to be promoting, too... DON'T use a subject that they have already thought up for you.
  • Keep your message brief.
    Most safelist users are only opening emails to get their credits. They certainly don't sign up to spend hours reading through long emails. There's a high chance that the majority of people who open your email are going to just scroll straight down to the bottom if it's too long. Keeping your message short gives you a higher chance of people actually reading your message. Use HTML if it is available; big, stand-out, colourful letters will draw more attention than hundreds of words in paragraphs.
  • Don't sell.
    This might sound odd and counter-productive as the whole point of sending you offer out is to attract buyers or sign-ups, but don't use your email as a big sales pitch. Point them to your landing page and let that do the talking for you. As mentioned before, keep the message short. Your page should do the selling.
  • Stick to one offer.
    A lot of people seem to use the opportunity to send a message to thousands of people as a way to promote 30 different affiliate programs all at the same time, throwing countless links in the body of the same email. Don’t do this. Choose one program or product and stick with it. Most safelist users are doing so to sell their own offer, not buy from someone. The only link they’re interested in clicking in your email is the one used to collect their credits.
  • Direct the reader to your own landing page.
    To increase the effect of your marketing, you should set the link in your email to direct to your own squeeze page, or lead capture page. Give them the option of signing up to your mailing list. Once a user has clicked on your link, they will only stay until the timer runs out and they get their credits. It's literally just a matter of seconds. Those few seconds are all you have to grab the reader's attention. Don't send them to a page that is heavily loaded with text and information. Promote your list and once they sign up, you can do all the selling from your back-end.
  • Be consistent.
    Send out emails as often as you can. This will vary depending on the safelist and the level of your membership. It could be one email every 12 or 24 hours or just one email each week. Stay consistent in your emailing and you’ll start to see more positive results. Just because your email is being sent to thousands of potential buyers doesn't mean you're going to generate hundreds or thousands of sales. Research has shown that before making a purchase, a potential buyer needs to be exposed to the product seven times. Don't expect hundreds of sign-ups from one mailing. Be persistent and keep promoting and you'll see better results.


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