This Week's Question: My email list is so small. How should I grow it? Should I just buy a list?
My email list is so small. How should I grow it or should I just buy a list? Email marketing is a no-brainer for most small businesses, it's easy to keep in touch with customers, it's cost-effective, and it's the preferred way that most of your customers would love for you to stay in touch with them.
The problem is you need a list. If you already have a big list, great, but for most small businesses you don't even have a list. So, where do you start?
Hi, I'm Tom Malesic, founder and President, of EZMarketing, a marketing agency in Lancaster, PA, and you're watching Ask EZ. This is where small business owners go to get real answers to their marketing questions.
reasons not to buy an email list
If you don't have a list, you might be tempted to just go buy a list. At best, this is a quick Band-Aid rather than a long-term solution, and at worst, it can really get you into trouble.
- For example, when you buy a list, you're not in compliance with email marketing spam laws. It's not illegal for them to sell you a list, it's illegal for you to send it out unsolicited.
- Also, any email marketing provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact might shut your account down for sending unsolicited emails.
there's no such thing as a "good" purchase list
There's no such thing as a good purchase list. List companies claim that their lists are clean, and highly targeted, and even opted-in, but they're not opted-in for you! Do you like getting unsolicited emails? Probably not.
how do you build your list, the right way?
So, if buying a list is so bad, how do you build your own list the right way?
- The first way is include opt-in forms on your website. Let people request to get your information.
- Also, you could provide special incentives. Many companies have birthday clubs or membership clubs, where people are eager to give you their information.
- You can also offer downloadable resources. Such as eBooks, or templates, or guides that people are more than willing to give their email address to get your free content.
- You could also host a contest or giveaway, and promote it in your social media marketing to get people to sign up.
- Another popular way is to host or attend an event, such as a trade-show, conference, or networking event. These are great ways to get people's business cards and add them into your list.
- You could partner with another business. Now I don't mean just swap lists, do something together to promote each other's business.
- And finally, just ask. You and your staff are probably talking to customers and prospects all the time, it sounds simple but most people just don't ask to get their email address.
No matter which of these email list building tactics you choose, make sure that you make it easy for them to sign up and share your information with their friends.
Okay, here's your homework:
If you already have an email list great, choose one of these tactics and start growing your list. If you don't have a list, now's the perfect time to get started. It can be as simple as using an Excel document to gather those email addresses. Whatever you do, get started today. And if you need help, our marketing company is right here in Lancaster, PA.
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