So you’ve decided to embrace email marketing. Great! Good for you! After all, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective types of marketing your business can utilize.
Maybe you already have a list of contacts—existing customers, vendors, family and friends—but, it’s a little small. Or, your list of contacts is getting a bit stale.
You have money to spend on marketing, but what you don’t seem to have is the time to grow your list on your own.
You might find it tempting to purchase a list. If someone else is going to do the hard work of collecting email addresses for you, why not take advantage?
Seems like a great solution. You think, “We’ll reach more people and they will undoubtedly become customers! Woo Hoo!”
Not so fast..
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Do you like to receive emails from a business or organization you don’t know? If you see an unfamiliar name in your inbox, are you likely to open and read it? Or do you send it to your trash?
If you’re like most people, you’re protective of your inbox. And while you might not report every unwanted email as spam, you probably don’t think too highly of a business that sends you email without your permission.
Offending potential customers with unwanted mail is only one reason why you should never purchase a list.
Here are a few other reasons. AND, these have much greater consequences.
- Purchased lists put you at risk of breaking the law, potentially in steep fines for your business. In the US, CAN-SPAM legislation includes some strict regulations around the right and wrong ways to collect email addresses. Additionally, Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, which went into effect in July 2014, requires you to obtain and document consent before sending commercial emails to Canadian consumers.
- Purchased lists aren’t allowed by reputable email marketing services. Email marketing services, including Constant Contact, do not allow you to use purchased lists. That’s because we maintain a strong anti-spam policy to ensure that our customers are only sending emails to people who have expressed interest in receiving them.
- Purchased lists put you at risk of higher spam reports and unsubscribes which can lead to lower open rates. Not recognizing the name of the sender is one of the biggest reasons people choose to unsubscribe from marketing emails. It’s also one of the main reasons people mark email they receive as spam.
Email marketing relationships are a valuable marketing asset. In fact, research shows that 91 percent of consumers want to receive emails from the organizations with whom they do business. Building these relationships starts with making sure you have permission before adding someone to your email list.
So, what can you do? The thing to remember is that it is not only possible to organically grow your permission-based subscription list, it is a much better solution. By growing your list organically, you are able to segment your list and personalize the message. You are able to send the right message to the right customer. And, because of this, you will have much higher conversion rates.
Building your list starts with having the right tools to help you collect email addresses in all the places people interact with your business.
Here are a few quick suggestions:
- In-store: Use a paper sign-up sheet or use a text-to-Join feature to allow new customers to sign-up from a mobile device.
- Website: Embed a sign-up form right on your website, so that new visitors can easily subscribe.
- Social Media: Include a link to your online sign-up form in your social bios (and the occasional post) and add “Join My Mailing List” app to your Facebook Page.
No matter how you grow your list, make sure to always add an incentive to sign up. A discount, a free “how to” guide, or another giveaway.
There are many other ways to grow a solid, permission-based, nurtured list. To learn more about how you can grow you list, and of course your business, email us. We would love to hear your goals and build that list together!