A question that comes up often is how to build up a good email list to use in continued marketing efforts. There are certainly some right and wrongs to doing this. In fact, doing this the wrong way might hurt your efforts for a very long time. This week and next we will be looking at the best practices for building and managing and email marketing list.
The first key is to make sure your list is only made up of people who opt-in. Those are people who have said, “Yes, please add me to your email list.” Otherwise you are just a spammer sending marketing email to people that never asked to receive it. We all hate getting those emails, so don’t be the one to send them.
On any form you use to collect customer information, add a box for them to choose to opt-in to your email list. Not everyone will want to, but you might be surprised at how many people will. You can do the same thing in phone or face to face contacts. Simply ask them if you can send them ongoing emails with helpful information and special offers. It is always important to stress to them the benefit they get from being a part of your email list.
As long as there has been email there have been services that will sell email addresses. Most of them are complete junk, but people just keep buying them. You can basically say you’d like to have the email address of everyone in Oklahoma that likes to bass fish. The list service will give you a spreadsheet with those email addresses. Some of them may be good addresses and some even interested in what you are offering, but the vast majority will call you a spammer if the address is even still valid. Just say no to purchasing email lists.
There are a number of tools that are designed to skim through a website and grab anything that looks like an email address. Those can build a list for you quickly and the list is likely to be more accurate that one purchased from a list service. The big problem is that none of those people asked to receive your email so you are essentially spamming them.
Check back next week as we continue this series and look at a good method for building your list with giveaways and how to properly manage using the list.