Developing Your Own Mailing List

Developing Your Own Mailing ListIf you’ve decided to complete an email campaign, the first stumbling block you’ll come upon is who to mail? This can be a daunting bridge to cross, but there’s a few things you should bear in mind about mailing lists before you begin.

First of all, why do you need a mailing list? There’s millions of email addresses out there and you need to make sure you’re contacting the right ones.  You need to target the right people so your message has maximum impact, the better your mailing list, the better the results will be!

To avoid treading on any toes, make sure you have a good privacy policy that will cover you in data protection laws. This should lay out to your existing customers, how you will be storing and dealing with their data. Now you’re ready to start storing the data of each customer you deal with. You may choose to do this yourself using your own mail management systems which can be downloaded and allow you to manage customer data via an online dashboard. You may also choose to delegate to a mail management company, who handle these tasks for you – the more expensive choice, but the best option for larger business who handle vast amounts of data!

But this is just for dealing with data that you already have – what if you want to build your mailing listfrom scratch? The first step you could take is to buy into a database. This is widely considered as an out-dated option and you can easily be sucked into scammers. When you buy an email database, you’re risking your message being deemed ‘spam’ and lost or ignored. If this is the case, you’ve lost yourself the money you spent on buying the email list and also any revenue you would have received from  successful email contact. If you do decide to buy an email database, make sure you’re doing so from a reputable source. If anyone is offering you a cheap, quick-fix offer that sounds too good to be true, it will be. For a good database, expect to spend a little more, just remember, it will be worth it as its quality rather than quantity you’re seeking here.  You could get yourself a free database, though the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ can apply here!

If you don’t fancy databases, you could try getting the emails yourself. One method is through referrals. You can ask existing customers to give you emails of friends, family or co-workers. Again, you may find results through this method poor, people are often unwilling to give away contact information. You may also find that emailing any addresses obtained this way can get you hostile responses if they perceive your emails as unsolicited spam, not what you’re aiming for!

You may decide to ask people directly for their emails. We’ve already looked at how you may manage existing customer data, but how about new or potential customers? Asking people to subscribe to amailing list is a great way to obtain good contacts. If they like you enough to want to hear from you, they’re likely to listen a lot harder to what you tell them!

Overall, the best tip for compiling a mailing list, is to stick to relevant contacts. Sending out thousands of emails and getting ten responses is far worse than sending a hundred emails and getting 90 responses! Go for quality, rather than quantity and you’ll come across as a focused and caring business! All you have to do then is get your message out there!