There are many options now when it comes to marketing your business and often a new business will experiment with several before deciding which ones work and focusing on these. A more established business will ideally be reviewing their options on an ongoing basis evaluating new platforms as they become available or perhaps even dropping an option if over time it’s not delivering a return on their investment in terms of time or money.
One area however that remains strong in spite of the many channels we now have to market our businesses remains email, it’s existed since before any of the major social networks and will outlive many of them also.
How then do you come up with an email marketing list, or if you have one how would you grow it?
First of all I am going to stress that you should NEVER ever purchase a list from anybody! I frequently see offers to sell a mailing list to clients but not only is this a potential data protection nightmare (you are required by law to have people opt in to hear from you!) but the people on this list didn’t sign up to hear from you so why would you even bother contacting them?
Only you know the size of your database unless of course you’re marketing third parties through it but that’s another days posts. If you’re using a proper email marketing programme the only email address that your subscriber will see is yours – if you’re using a programme that isn’t designed for email marketing please ensure NEVER to put all of your subscribers into the ‘to’ field, you don’t have the right to share email addresses with anybody and again you’re facing potential problems!
So, how do you get started? Well start small, the key is quality over quantity – wouldn’t 50 people who are potential customers be better than 500 who don’t have an interest in your product or service?
There are a number of places you can secure legitimate email subscribers and here are just a few to get you started;
- Your website – adding a sign-up form is not complex, if you’re using a platform such as WordPress as we do the addition of a plugin to capture the email addresses starts at no charge other than your time and in many cases that’s just a matter of minutes.
- Your social media – add a sign-up form, run a competition which makes it mandatory to supply an email address, ask people to sign up for your newsletter.
- Your email signature – in addition to your contact details or social media links why not include the option to subscribe to the newsletter there?
- Offer an incentive – it might be an e-book with tips, a discount voucher, a promotion – but whatever it is the email sign-up should be incorporated and a condition of the potential subscriber receiving the offering.
- When you’re running an event – whether it’s a webinar or an offline event, as part of the registration process you can capture emails.
However you decide to capture email addresses however you must ensure that it’s compliant with data protection legislation and that you protect the information you capture, your email list should never be handed over to a third party for marketing purposes. You may as the list grows be in a position to run a promotion with an ad on your newsletter for a third party but as part of that you process the email, you can’t simply send it over to them to send for you.
As we’ve been making some changes behind the scenes our email newsletter has been on hold but it will be back in 2017, if you’d like to subscribe to our list you can do so by clicking here.