Who Should I Send My Marketing Emails To?
Already this year, we’ve had several clients interested in starting email marketing campaigns, or eblast campaigns. Email marketing can be very effective, especially when done in conjunction with other types of marketing including direct mail and social media.
The number one email related question we get is “how do I get a list of email recipients?” The methods for creating emails lists are VERY different from those for creating direct mail lists. In direct mail, it is perfectly legal and acceptable to rent or buy lists of addresses. You can collect addresses from websites, directories, old clients, friends of friends, etc. This, however, is not the case for email lists. The federal government has strict anti-spam laws that govern the way people obtain lists for their email campaigns.
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: DO NOT buy email lists, ever! Anytime you send email to someone who did not explicitly say they wanted to receive email from you, you are sending spam. So don’t buy lists, rent them, borrow them from friends, skim them off websites, etc.
Since you can’t purchase lists, you have to create them on your own. How do you do that? First, start with your current and past client list. Just because they are or were your clients doesn’t mean you can suddenly start sending them coupons and newsletters. However, you can send them one email asking if they would like to receive promotional information from you on a regular basis. If yes, they sign up and you use those emails to create your list. If you don’t receive a response, take that email off your eblast list. Going forward, ask all new clients and potential clients if they’d like to receive emails from you. This way you can keep growing your list.
Next, turn your attention towards people who interact with you online. Put an email sign up sheet on your blog, website and/or Facebook fan page. You may consider offering an incentive, like a free ebook or free product, in order to encourage people to sign up. Once the sign up sheet is up on your website, post a link on Twitter, Linked In, Google+ and any other place where you frequently interact with people interested in your business.
You can also collect email addresses offline. Have an email sign up sheet in your store or at tradeshows. Make it very clear to people that they are signing up to receive regular emails from you. Again, offer an incentive, like a coupon, for signing up.
When compiling your email marketing list, remember to only include people who want to hear from you. People who have asked to receive your emails will read your content and act on your calls to action. People who didn’t ask to receive your emails will mark them as spam and could send you to the black list. While it may be more work, ultimately it’s in the best interest of your business to take the time to build a quality list.
If you need help creating a custom branded email, or more advice for creating an email list, contact Brianna at 949-587-5301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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