How To Build An Email List

How To Build An Email List

At the heart of any email marketing campaign is the list you are mailing to. So, how to build an email list? Where do you get that list from? The email list you use when sending out your campaign is critical. In our world of social connections you want to make sure you do not accidentally create a bad impression. That said, let’s talk about your email list.

Purchasing An Email List

When starting a campaign you may want to add names to your list to increase your reach and raise your likelihood of response. If that’s the case, there are many reputable places to get this data. If you do purchase a list, here are a few key points to consider:

  1. Where did the seller get this data from?
  2. Did everyone on the list consent to receiving emails?
  3. What remedy is there for bouncing or high opt-out lists?

I know these sound elementary, but you may be surprised. On more than one occasion we have had our customers bring us a list that they bought and we see a high bounce rate, or worse, angry replies and unsubscribes. Even worse, some email accounts are setup intentionally as spam traps and can jeopardize your domain and the ability for your customers to receive your emails. These spam traps are email addresses that a company no longer uses and are monitored by anti-spam clients. If the email is no longer used, then it would be impossible for someone to consent to receiving your emails. If you use that email, it shows there was not consent. That’s a problem.

Still, don’t be scared of list purchases. Instead, be mindful of what you are doing and the consequences that could come from it. When prepared, you’ll ask questions like a pro and end up with a well-performing list that does not lead to trouble.

Using Your Own List

Another option is to use a list of contacts and emails you already have compiled. These may be current and previous customers, newsletter subscribers, or prospects you have already been in contact with. People in any of these categories are fine to email. However, make sure that you scrub the list first to remove any unwanted communication. Also, make sure that if a person is in your email list because of a website submission that there is a notice on the sign-up page they will receive email from you.

Protecting Your Reputation

Before starting a campaign with a new list I always recommend three things to our clients. First, ensure you truly have a pre-existing relationship with every email contact. This is a great test to make sure that there are no misunderstandings. Second, if there is any question that the prospects may be confused, the first email you send should be an introduction to you and/or your company with a clear and immediate option to opt-out of any future communication. This cleans your list quickly and helps verify the accuracy. Finally, in relation to opt-out, make sure every email you send has an option for people to unsubscribe forever. This is critical to maintaining a good reputation in the realm of email marketing. Your email client can help you with this. More on that next time.

What about you? Do you have a story of email marketing gone well, or less than well? Maybe you have your own tips you’d like to share. Just use the comments below to share.

I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *