Monday, February 13, 2012


     Many business owners say that they do most of their business building through ‘email marketing’, but when asked about their email database or list they don’t have very much information.  They don’t know who is on the list, how big the list is or even how to follow up with people on the list.  Sometimes business owners purchase email lists from third parties and in these situations they are exposing their businesses to problems ranging from wasting time with false or out of date email addresses to spam complaints.  A great email list takes time to put together, but assures that your marketing budget is being well spent and will produce great leads that produce new business.

     Rome was not built in a day and neither is an email marketing list.  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 or delete it.  If, however, the email comes from a trusted company, they are much more likely to take a look.

     Businesses can use email marketing effectively to develop strong leads, build relationships, and inexpensively get their message out. 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 would not have signed up. You want to use that to your advantage—and you can, with targeted email marketing.

     Here are some tips to building an effective email list that will help you succeed in the virtual email world:

  • 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.

  • Offer Choices

     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.

     Now that you know why it is important to build a great email list here are some suggestions on hot to collect and maintain those email addresses.

Collecting Email Addresses:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Contests - Register participants address and announce the winner through your next newsletter list.

5. Coupons & discounts – Offer special incentives through email only, allow them to pass along to friends.

6. 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.

8. Trade shows & Networking Events – Offer collateral material that requests them to sign-up on their own.

9.     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.

10. 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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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?

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