Getting the best results from your email marketing campaign depends on having the best names on your email marketing lists. Emailing to the wrong people can anger potential customers and violate tough anti-spam laws. To stay out of trouble:
- Send email only to "opt-in" subscribers, that is, recipients who choose to be on your list
- Give recipients the option to unsubscribe in every message you send.
- Make sure you understand anti-spam laws.
- Buy or rent email marketing lists from reputable list brokers only.
Use a subscription form on your Web siteThe best way to build an email marketing list is to create your own from scratch. That way, every person who signs up has expressed specific interest in hearing from you. The simplest way to build your own email marketing list is to include a sign-up form on every page of your company's Web site.
Have a signup form in your store or businessBrick and mortar businesses don't have to use the Web to build an email marketing list. If you run a restaurant, retail outlet, or any other type of business, ask customers to sign up for your email marketing list at the time of purchase.
Offer an incentive signing upIncentives can increase your subscription rates dramatically. Entice customers to sign up for your email list either online or offline by offering coupons, special offers, reports, a free e-book, or anything else that would appeal to your target market. Take note that incentives for signup can also dilute the strength of your list since some people who don't want to receive emails from you will sign up simply to receive the incentive.
Buy or rent a list from an email list brokerIf you don't have the patience to build your own email marketing list, you'll need to buy or rent a list. Make sure your broker uses opt-in procedures rather than harvesting email addresses online, otherwise, you could be labeled a spammer. Note that some email marketing services won't allow you to use these lists even if they're opt-in, so check with your provider before buying a list.
- Violating anti-spam laws will not only get your business in trouble, but you'll also anger the prospects that you contact, and build a bad name for yourself.
- Buying and renting email marketing lists should always be a last resort.
- The best resource you have in building an email marketing list is your current subscriber list. Add a link to your subscription form in messages so customers can invite friends to subscribe.