This article is the first in a series of short articles each dealing with a certain aspect of email marketing and meant to help you, dear reader, to improve your email marketing campaigns. I chose to begin the series with a few tips relating to the most fundamental prerequisite for any email marketing campaign – the email address list.I hope you find these tips interesting and useful and you are more than welcome to contact me with ideas of your own that you think we should be adding here.
A word of caution before we start:
Never buy an email list
Purchasing emails is unethical to say the least and in many cases it is illegal as well. Beyond these two very good reasons why you should avoid engaging in this practice, there is another reason you should take into your consideration:
It is doubtful at best that a person who signed up for a newsletter related to some other product, service, or organization, will respond positively to being solicited by you.
It is far more likely that your solicitation will be at best ignored, and at worst flagged as spam…
A good list grows organically
- Build you list yourself and start as close to home as possible.
You already have dozens, hundreds or even perhaps thousands of clients and contacts. These people may well have donated to your cause or purchased from you in the past. It is safe to assume that unless you mistreated them, they remember you fondly and will be happy to receive emails, offers and news from you. They are also very likely to do business with you again…
- Start collecting email addresses from visitors to your website and locations.
Whether your organization has a physical location, or is entirely online, you should be collecting your visitors email addresses and getting their permission to send offers and news.
A wise man once said: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is NOW”.
- Guarantee privacy and promise benefits.
People today are bombarded by so much spam that they are often reluctant to hand out their email address. Signing people up to your list is much easier when you guarantee that their privacy will be respected and their email will never be passed on to any third party. Most importantly assure people that by signing up they will gain access to special content, benefits, and offers that are available only to members of your subscription list.
Gratitude goes a long way
- Give people something in return.
We all love getting gifts. Beyond promising people future benefits for signing up to your list give them some immediate token of your gratitude that they can benefit from directly after signing up to your list. It doesn’t really matter how significant your giveaway is as long as it’s something that is delivered immediately following the sign up.
- Easy does it.
All too often I encounter sign up forms that are so complicated and invasive that I give up on completing them midway. Your sign up process should be as easy, hassle free, and simple as possible. In most cases all you need from people initially is their email and perhaps their name.
- Develop relationships over time.
Once you start an email relationship with people, and that relationship becomes positive and meaningful, it is much easier to ask them to divulge more information about themselves than it is at the initial contact, especially if you promise them some special benefit as a token of your gratitude for their cooperation.
What’s the secret of success? A well organized list!
- The better your information the greater your success.
We all enjoy feeling important and special. We appreciate people who remember details about us. With many premium email marketing platforms available today it is simple to create subsets and filters of demographically similar members within your email list. Segmentation allows you more accurate targeting for your messages.
- Keep it personal.
We all like people that really care about us.
The more you know about the members of your list, and the more trouble you take in making it obvious that you are aware of who they are individually, the better the responses you will get to your solicitations, requests, and offers.
- A small and responsive email list is better than a large and indifferent one
Managing email lists and member data is a time consuming effort.
Concentrate your efforts on identifying, segmenting and managing lists composed primarily of those members that are responsive to your messages. By following this guideline you stand to gain twice: 1st you will be saving precious time by limiting the efforts you are wasting on vast numbers of useless contacts and 2nd you will have more time available to dedicate to building meaningful and productive relationships with your responsive contacts.
If you found this useful…
you might want to check out these articles as well
- The ethics of email marketing are founded on a simple single understanding. People’s in-boxes are as much part of their private domain as are their bedrooms.
- Email Marketing is being used by businesses and organizations to increase their profits and enhance their image.
- The credibility and authority of an organization makes readers more receptive to their email efforts.
- In the Email Game, the finish line is not the inbox. You must reach the reader’s mind.
- Your reader’s poor response may have nothing to do with your email.
- Why you need to send using an ESP for your email marketing to be effective.
- A glossary of terms relating to email and online marketing