By Jeffrey Gray
Rome was not built in a day. The Romans took their time building something great
You can’t take random ingredients and expect to bake great Lasagna. You need specific ingredients and instructions. If you’re buying email lists with unqualified prospects, it can turn out to be a recipe for disaster.
Building vs. Purchasing Email Lists
As a marketer you need to think like a consumer. Consumers are smart, and they know what they want. If they receive an email from an unknown source, they will usually ignore it or delete it. If, however, the email comes from a trusted company, they are much more likely to take a look.
By using purchased lists, you’re exposing your business to problems. False or out-of-date email addresses. Spam complaints. All of which will eventually lead to a list that is a waste of your marketing dollars.
When you build a list, there are benefits that come with your subscriber base. You have the opportunity to track your emails (who received them, who opened them, etc). You can separate your list and segment it to those who want to receive certain emails or specific information. But more than anything else, you have a list of people who want to read your emails. Those can refer their friends to your business and help it grow through word of mouth.
Whether you create an email list from scratch or build an existing email list, you’re getting qualified leads of customers who are sincerely interested in what you have to offer them—otherwise they wouldn’t have signed up. You want to use that to your advantage—and you can, with targeted email marketing
Building an Effective Email List to Succeed in the e-World
Businesses can use email marketing effectively to develop strong leads, build relationships, and inexpensively get their message out.
Whenever customers are strolling through, browsing, purchasing, or just gathering information, you can be collecting email addresses. Your business is always open, readily available, and you can begin to build your email list by following a few simple suggestions.
Assure Personal Privacy
Consumers are very hesitant to give out personal information and email addresses have become a part of people, some don’t want to share. Gain their trust by reassuring them that their email address and any personal information will be guarded by you. Let them know that they will only receive a certain number of emails per month.
Keep it Simple
The easier it is to do something, the more likely it is someone will do it. If signing up for your email list is as easy as typing or writing their address—you will see many more addresses signing up.
Deliver on Your Content Promises
Make promises on what they should expect to receive in their emails from you and deliver (literally and figuratively). By letting the recipients know what they will be getting in their emails from you for signing up they will want to open the emails—to see what you have to offer.
Democracy is a beautiful thing. Giving your subscribers choices of what they wish to receive from you gives you the control to cater to your customers. This also gives them satisfaction of not having to sift through irrelevant material.
9 Ways to Collect Email Addresses
Your website – If nothing else, use your website. If you’re not promoting your email list on your website, you’re not using your website well enough.
Current email lists – Using current email lists to build your own email list is an essential part of your growth. If your current recipients see something of value to them, they may think their friends will benefit as well. Allowing them to pass your email along may easily add more to your list.
In-store sign-up – When checking out or browsing around allow people to sign up for your email list by way of sign up forms.
Contests - Register participants address and announce the winner through your next newsletter list.
Coupons & discounts – Offer special incentives through email only, allow them to pass along to friends.
Advertisements & Direct mail – Never pass up the opportunity to inform readers about your email community. Direct them to your website or have them send an email to you requesting their addition.
Business cards – On the back of your business card, promote your website and the opportunity to receive informative emails or newsletters.
Trade shows & Networking Events – Offer collateral material that requests them to sign-up on their own.
Seminars - Give seminars on your area of expertise and have people sign-up to your mailing list for future seminars, discounted rates, and other announcements.
Be creative with these ideas, mix and match, or come up with your own ways to collect emails.
Maintaining your list
Just as important as building an email marketing list is maintaining your current list.
A few things to remember when doing this are to:
Build relationships with your customers—they will stay your customers longer if they feel connected. Ask for feedback and respond immediately. If they know that you care about them, they’ll stick around, as with any relationship.
Offer real value to your email readers; make them want to open your email each and every time. Whether this value is in the form of discounts, product information, tips, or fun stories, they should feel a need to read what you have to say.
Keep your emails interesting and your e-marketing will thrive. Send out only as many emails a month as you can keep appealing. Put some thought into what you want to communicate and you will have more valuable information.
Don’t hassle the loyal customers that have offered to receive your emails. If you don’t constantly bombard them, they’ll appreciate you more. You are privileged to have them on your list and you can respect that by not abusing it.
Go Build Your Empire!
First, realize that you need to build a list, not purchase one. Planning is essential in building your subscriber numbers. After you decide your objectives, use the previous suggestions to grow your list. Maintaining your subscriber base may be the most important thing you can do. What’s the point of creating something just to let it fall apart?
The Colosseum still stands in Rome after 2000 years. It was constructed well, and even with some deterioration there has been a constant effort to preserve.
About the author:
Jeffrey Gray is the Marketing Manager at iContact, a leading email marketing application based in Durham, NC. He managers all advertising campaigns and marketing initiatives, is the editor for “Email Marketing Monthly,” and writes for “Ask the Marketing Guy” on the iContact Blog. He writes about Marketing, Advertising and Life in General on his blog at www.jeffreygray.wordpress.com. Want to connect with Jeffrey directly? Follow him professionally and personally on LinkedIn or Twitter.