Email marketing: How to create your email list for marketing

by Irune

A mailing list, or leads list, is key to a successful affiliate marketer career. However, gathering that list of emails in an ethical and productive way is not so easy.

Email marketing is surprisingly more popular than ever on the age of social marketing and SEO. While many business owners don't want to commit to an email marketing campaign for fear of being labelled as spam, this marketing channel is used regularly by money making schemes such as affiliate marketing business and big enterprises. However, email marketing can have a great effect on the bottom line of a small business, provided it's done right.

The first step towards successful email campaign remains getting the email addresses you'll send your mail blast to. The way you build your marketing mailing list will define the success or absolute failure of your marketing efforts.

Purchasing a list from a distributor

Creating an email distribution list can be challenging and time consuming. Potential clients are obviously protective of their email addresses and uninterested in receiving more spam or phishing attempts to get their bank details. This makes the idea of just purchasing a mailing list from a provider seem very tempting. However, there are several problems with this kind of approach:

  • You have no way of knowing that everybody on that list wants their details passed to you
  • If people signed up for the list in exchange for an incentive of some sort, they'll probably just ignore your emails or mark them as spam.
  • A list that is cheap is probably worthless, because if it wasn't the seller would be using it himself.
  • A list that is worth it, full of qualified leads, will be too expensive to make sending the emails worth it.

You may hit the jackpot and send your email to some people who are interested in your products, but most of the time all you will get are unsubscribe requests and the words "unsolicited spam" associated with your business.

A good compromise could be purchasing a slot on the newsletter of a related website, and using it to get introduced to their readership, but finding such a deal is difficult since people are very careful of what they send to their subscribers.

Building your mailing list yourself

A far better approach to mailing list building is letting people sign up to receive your emails from your website or your brick and mortar shop. You can ask current customers and visitors to subscribe to receive periodic updates and exclusive information about your products or services. This kind of mailing list will be filled with people who actually want to receive your emails, are more likely to click on them and make repeated purchases. As long as you don't abuse the privilege and send them unrelated offers or low quality content, your subscribers will probably stay on your list for a long time.

To increase the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter you can offer a free eBook or report, a welcome offer or a discount voucher to sweeten the deal. Competitions and raffles with a decent price are also very popular and can increase your mailing list considerably. Depending on the amount of qualified leads you get from such a campaign, the price of an iPad suddenly doesn't seem so high if you choose to offer one as a price, and you can claim it as one of your allowed business expenses.

Mailing list management

There is a lot that can be said about how to manage a mailing list, but there's three key things that must be avoided if you want to keep the trust and email addresses of your subscribers.

  • Never sell your addresses to a third party
  • Honour all unsubscribe requests
  • Keep your mailings interesting and relevant

This way the mailing list that you have worked so hard to compile will keep its value and become a source of leads and new sales for your business, instead of an embarrassment or the source of spam complaints.

Updated: 02/18/2013, Irune
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