Use Content to Satisfy E-Mail Subscribers, Advertisers
I run an opt-in service named JC TRiViA, a daily trivia game conducted by e-mail. I believe the best way to satisfy both the subscribers and the advertisers is to provide the subscribers with daily content which they actually look forward to receiving. Then I can wrap that content around advertising (or I can wrap the advertising around the content, depending on your perspective).
I tell my advertisers that I will deliver their messages in e-mails that people will not only open and read, but will actually respond to. Since JC TRiViA is a game that requires a daily response from the subscribers, I can be sure that on any given day about 65 percent of all subscribers will respond -- 85 percent of all subscribers respond in any given week.
My subscribers actually look forward to receiving their daily dose of trivia. When they don't receive it, I get e-mails wondering where it is. How many opt-in content providers can boast of that level of loyalty?
I reward such loyalty with a strict no-spamming policy that is proclaimed in every issue. I never use unsolicited e-mails to promote the service. And I never sell or rent my subscriber base to anyone for any purpose.
I feel that such a service satisfies both the advertiser and the consumer. The consumer accepts the advertisement as a means of subsidizing the free content, and the advertiser knows his message is going to a willing and receptive audience.
Lees Summit, MO