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Building Email Lists

November 25, 2008

Email marketing has many clear benefits. It is a low cost means of generating an exceptional response rate. The problem is, if you don’t have email addresses then you can’t conduct an email campaign in any meaningful way. There are a number of things you can do to build your email lists quickly and effectively:

Conduct a telemarketing campaign

Believe it or not one of the easiest ways to obtain email addresses is to conduct a telemarketing campaign to ask for them. By using well defined processes and systems it is possible to obtain around 15 email addresses per person per hour. If you want to start email marketing by obtaining the addresses for say 5,000 of your customers this will take two telemarketing staff around five weeks. Then, forever more, you have the email addresses for 5,000 of your customers.

Always ask for the email address

Make sure that every time you make contact with a customer or prospect you obtain their email address. Whilst you’re talking to them you can also ask them, in a convincing manner, if they’d like to receive a newsletter from yourselves. Most people like to receive well written, informative email so you should get a greater than 80% positive response rate. If you have 5 sales people talking to 15 customers per day then after one month you’ll have 1,200 of your prospects or customers that have ‘opted in’ to receive a newsletter from your company

Use the web

If you have a web site, and most people do, then every time someone visits try and capture their name to send them an email newsletter. You can do this through a pop up box or simply through a field where they can enter their email address. Again you’ll build up your distribution lists effectively. And the more people who receive your newsletter the more you’ll sell by staying at the front of their minds.

Make sure that it’s easy to sign up and don’t ask for too much information. Some companies take just the email address whilst others want the christian and surname and maybe company name. This is fine but if you start asking for preferences, areas of interest etc then you may find that your visitors don’t finish the sign up process. If you are going to request lots of information then look at your web stats to see how many of your visitors don’t complete the sign-up – then try and figure out why.

Build lists

What if you want to grow your database? Well one really effective way is to purchase in a list and conduct a telemarketing campaign to mail people. This way you’ll quickly build your in-house lists. There are numerous specialist sources of lists but make sure that you don’t purchase a list that comes complete with email addresses. If you can then you’re likely to find the lists has been overused and is tired and that means you’ll get a poor response rate.

And I’ll leave you with one thought – if you don’t have a large list then it’s a great time to start email marketing. The vagaries of email marketing are such that it needs a different approach and it may take some time to get comfortable with the processes. To work with a few hundred people whilst your lists grow is frequently preferable to working with a huge list whilst you’re still learning.

If you would like further information please email [email protected] or call 0161 817 2929

Posted by Simon Hill

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